Fixposition, a spin-off from ETH Zurich (ETH), has developed a new sensor allowing robots and drones to navigate even the most challenging environments.

Fixposition has launched the Vision-RTK, a centimeter-accurate positioning solution that uses a unique sensor fusion algorithm to integrate GNSS, camera and inertial sensors. The Vision-RTK is designed to provide high-reliability positioning for drones and robotics in challenging environments where Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals may be limited or non-existent.

GNSS-based navigation methods suffer from limited reliability in areas where satellite signals may be blocked or degraded. Standalone computer vision technologies are sensitive to light conditions (e.g., snow, strong sunlight, rain, etc.) and struggle in situations where there is a lack of features, such as cornfields and grass. Standalone inertial errors are prone to errors that accumulate over time, causing large drifts.

Solutions based on only one of the above methods are limited in their range of operation and are likely to fail in certain conditions. Fixposition’s solution increases the potential of these sensors, using unique sensor fusion technology to increase both positioning accuracy and the ability to operate in different environments.

The Vision-RTK’s real-time sensor fusion provides centimeter-accurate absolute positioning at any time, in any outdoor environment. The compact and lightweight module, incorporating two RTK-GNSS receivers and visual inertial navigation, is ideal for SWaP (size, weight and power)-constrained applications that still require high accuracy. The dual-receiver configuration, together with Fixposition’s advanced algorithms, provides a true-heading output and increased resistance to electromagnetic radiation.

The system features USB and Wi-Fi connectivity and an easy-to-use web interface, allowing easy integration into state-of-the-art autopilot control systems for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles) and other robots. It is plug-and-play compatible with platforms such as PX4, ROS and Apollo.

Vision-RTK increases device uptime and efficiency while enabling new applications in previously inaccessible market segments. For end-device manufacturers, this technology eliminates the need for in-house development of advanced localization solutions, shortening sales cycles and reducing costs and investments.

Dr. Zhenzhong Su, CEO and co-founder of Fixposition, commented:

“With Vision-RTK, Fixposition offers the only compact solution for positioning and navigation in challenging outdoor environments, enabling applications in previously unreachable areas and opening a whole new world of possibilities for autonomous ground robots and drones.”

Lukas Meier, CTO and co-founder of Fixposition, stated:

“The highly integrated nature of our Vision-RTK sensor and our deep expertise in computer vision and Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) GNSS enabled us to implement completely new approaches in sensor fusion resulting in previously unseen performance.”

Source: Press Release

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2020/10/15/fixposition-launches-sensor-for-drones-and-robots/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.