XPONENTIAL 2017 brings new autonomous news and products
The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas played host to more than 7000 representatives from more than 20 industries attending AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017, the largest, most comprehensive trade show for unmanned systems and robotics.
The event, which ran from May 8 – 11, endeavored to cover every vertical market and all domains—air, land and sea—of commercial operation, which has been opened up thanks to recent legislation. Attendees sought to hear about the latest technological advances and topical issues, as well as to learn trade secrets from an impressive lineup of expert speakers.
The following are some of the more notable news and products that were unveiled during the show. Visit www.xponential.org to learn more about this year’s event, and to find out about how to attend or exhibit at the show in 2018.
Inertial Sense: the world's smallest GPS-aided inertial navigation system set for this summer
Inertial Sense announced that it will be releasing a high-quality, low-cost navigation system later this summer called μINS. The company says its engineers have invented a patent-pending design that enables its GPS inertial navigation system to be smaller and less expensive than any commercial predecessor.
The μINS is a tiny sensor module that is designed to provide high-quality direction, position, and velocity data for drones and robotic applications. It provides this data by fusing sensor data from GPS (GNSS), gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, and a barometric pressure sensor.
Visit www.inertialsense.com for more information.
Autonomous UAV platform enabling drone delivery and pickup from Cheetah Air
Cheetah Air, a division of Cheetah Software Systems, has successfully developed and tested its fully autonomous UAV platform. The autonomous drone solution is now integrated with the core Cheetah Logistics Operations Optimization Platform (LOOP), which was created to plan, dynamically manage, adapt, and optimize fleets and drivers in healthcare, retail, and carriers that operate courier, less than truckload, truck load, and private fleets.
Crystal Group showcases rugged computer for IoT and autonomous driving systems
Crystal Group, a designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, highlighted its rugged computer for autonomous driving systems and IoT applications. The RS363S15F Rugged 3U Server provides high-performance computing and high-capacity data storage in a small size, weight, and power (SWaP) package with a depth under 15 in (38.1 cm) to fit virtually any space. The RS363S15F Rugged 3U Server is powered by Intel processors.
VectorNav’s IMU/AHRS integrated into Neya's UxAB
VectorNav Technologies announced that it will supply its surface mount VN-100 IMU/AHRS to Neya Systems for a custom version of its UxAB module. Neya Systems LLC, a part of Northrop Grumman's team for the AEODRS Increment 1 Autonomous Behavior Capability Module, will deliver its custom version of the UxAB platform to Northrop Grumman for its AEODRS Increment 1 delivery.
About the size of a postage stamp, VectorNav's surface mount VN-100 is a temperature-calibrated MEMS-based IMU/AHRS that includes three-axis accelerometers, gyros, and magnetometers. The module reportedly delivers a real-time 3D orientation solution that is continuous over the complete 360° of motion at rates of up to 400 Hz. In addition to calibrated IMU and AHRS functionality, the VN-100 includes VectorNav's Vector Processing Engine (VPE), a suite of proprietary sensor fusion algorithms running onboard the sensor.
The VN-100 surface mount module is being integrated directly into the electronics board of Neya Systems' UxAB platform, a fully self-contained semi-autonomy and autonomy capability module that includes GPS waypoint navigation, multi-joint manipulator control (with self-collision avoidance), retrotraverse, return-to-comms, and optional obstacle avoidance behaviors. Neya is using the calibrated pitch and roll estimates to assist in its controller functionality, for example to provide warning when the robotic module is in danger of tipping. The VN-100 AHRS magnetometer-based heading solution is used for waypoint navigation. VectorNav is providing platform specific hard/soft iron calibration expertise to ensure the magnetometer-based heading solution takes into account the magnetic signature of the UxAB module and provides accurate navigation in a variety of environmental conditions.
AEODRS is the next generation of explosive ordnance disposal robotic systems, designed as a follow-on and capability upgrade to existing deployed platforms. It is based on an open architecture, and Neya's autonomy module will conform to the logical, electrical, and physical interfaces that are required by this architecture. Neya will be adapting its commercially available UxAB platform to comply with AEODRS capability module requirements.
Visit www.vectornav.com for more information.
Robird drone to guide birds from Edmonton international airport
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) will be the first airport in the world to integrate a full suite of unmanned aerial system (UAS) services into its daily airport operations. Starting in Q2 of 2017, Clear Flight Solutions (CFS) and AERIUM Analytics will focus on safely integrating UAS technology at EIA. The primary focus will be on enhancing EIA's Wildlife Management Plan while supporting continued growth of the Edmonton Metro Region's aerotropolis.
The Wildlife Management Plan will integrate CFS's Robird technology to guide birds safely away from air traffic, while discouraging nesting near airside operations and glide paths. The Robird was designed as an ecologically friendly method of bird control. It functions by mimicking the flight of an actual falcon in realistic fashion, making its flight behavior indistinguishable from its natural counterpart that other birds believe that their natural enemy is present in the area.
As part of the integrated suite of services, CFS AERIUM will be providing UAS mapping and inspections services to support EIA's maintenance programs and future economic development efforts. These operations will continue from the flight missions that have been previously conducted. The missions were completed to satisfy Safety and Hazard Identification Risk Assessments requirements in addition to demonstrating competency. UAS missions have been conducted under tight supervision within 400 m of active runways.