VectorNav supplies IMU for military bomb-disposal robot

May 11, 2017  - By

VectorNav Technologies, a provider of embedded navigation solutions, announced at AUVSI’s Xponential that it will supply its surface mount VN-100 inertial measurement unit/attitude and heading reference system (IMU/AHRS) to Neya Systems for a custom version of that company’s UxAB module.

The back-packable Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) with integrated Neya Systems’ UxAB module.

The back-packable Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) with integrated Neya Systems’ UxAB module. Photo: VectorNav

Neya Systems will in turn deliver its custom version of the UxAB platform to Northrop Grumman for that company’s Advance Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) Increment 1 delivery, an autonomous bomb-disposal robot, to the U.S. military. The AEODRS unmanned ground vehicle “back-packable” increment 1 system weighs less than 35 pounds and comprises the handheld operator control unit, communications link, mobility capability module, master capability module, power capability module, manipulator capability module, end effector capability module, visual sensors capability module, autonomous behaviors capability module and other minor components.

The UxAB is a 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.

VN-100+SMD_LeftAbout the size of a postage stamp, VectorNav’s surface mount VN-100 is a temperature calibrated MEMS-based IMU/AHRS that includes 3-axis accelerometers, gyros and magnetometers. The module delivers to users a real-time 3D orientation solution that is continuous over the complete 360 degrees 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 that deliver real-time magnetic & acceleration disturbance rejection, adaptive signal filtering, dynamic filter tuning, and on-board Hard & Soft Iron compensation.

The VN-100 surface mount module is being integrated directly into the electronics board of Neya Systems’ UxAB platform. 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. AEODRS 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.