Dead reckoning software solution for indoor autonomous robots

April 02, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Dead reckoning software solution for indoor autonomous robots
Signal processing IP provider CEVA has announced a highly accurate dead reckoning software solution for intelligent navigation systems in indoor robots including robot cleaners and autonomous mobile robots (AMR) used in industrial or commercial settings.

The Hillcrest Labs MotionEngine Scout software, says the company, offers a cost-reduced alternative to expensive camera or LIDAR based systems for indoor robot navigation by fusing sensor data from optical sensors, inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors, and wheel encoders. The sensor and processor agnostic embedded software solution then uses the data to deliver better dead reckoning accuracy and robustness against individual sensor errors.

As a testament to this, says the company, MotionEngine Scout reduces the trajectory error by a factor of five times in challenging scenarios, including surface flooring such as vinyl, tile, and various styles of carpet.

"We developed MotionEngine Scout to lower the cost and technology barriers faced by OEMs developing indoor autonomous robots," says Chad Lucien, Vice President and General Manager of the Sensor Fusion Business Unit at CEVA. "Our vast experience in robot navigation, sensor fusion, calibration, and sensor analytics have enabled us to deliver a high-precision dead reckoning software solution that can enhance or provide an alternative to camera or LiDAR based systems. MotionEngine Scout paves the way for a new class of indoor robots that can intelligently navigate their environment while enabling OEM's to achieve the challenging price points necessary to meet end user demand."

For robot OEMs, MotionEngine Scout is designed to simplify and accelerate the integration timeline by providing a single software package that interfaces with the IMU, optical flow sensor and wheel encoders and provide an integrated sensor output with the unified robot pose (includes location and orientation in 3D space). It supports a broad range of commercial IMU sensors from the leading suppliers including STMicroelectronics, Bosch-Sensortec, and TDK InvenSense to provide OEM's with supply chain flexibility, thereby reducing supply shortage risks and providing options for cost and performance trade-offs.

For the essential optical flow sensor, the company has partnered with PixArt to incorporate its PAA5101 dual-light optical tracking sensor into the solution, further reducing development complexity and time-to-market.

Charles Chong, Director of Strategic Marketing at PixArt Imaging USA says, "CEVA's unique sensor fusion knowhow for indoor robot navigation perfectly complements our optical tracking sensor expertise and we are pleased to partner with CEVA to address this lucrative and growing market."

MotionEngine Scout extends CEVA's sensor product line for autonomous indoor robots, which includes the following IMU-based solutions: MotionEngine Robotics software, FSP200 sensor hub, BNO086 system-in-package, and FSM300 module. The company also offers complementary IP products required for autonomous robots, including its RivieraWaves Bluetooth and Wi-Fi platforms for connectivity and its SensPro2 sensor hub DSP which is capable of handling multiple sensor processing workloads from sensors such as cameras, LiDAR, IMUs etc.

MotionEngine Scout is available for evaluation now.


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