Sensor fusion creates software alternative for autonomous indoor bots

Precise dead reckoning software can save indoor robots the cost of expensive camera or lidar-based systems, says Ceva, as it introduces MotionEngine Scout.

MotionEngine Scout can also be used for indoor robots and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in industrial or commercial settings.

The sensor and processor-agnostic embedded software fuses measurements taken from the robot’s optical flow sensor, wheel encoders and inertial measurement unit (IMU) to deliver dead reckoning accuracy above individual sensor errors. According to Ceva, it reduces the trajectory error by a factor of five on vinyl, tile, and various styles of carpet flooring.

Chad Lucien, vice president and general manager of the sensor fusion business unit at Ceva believes: “MotionEngine Scout paves the way for a new class of indoor robots that can intelligently navigate their environment while enabling OEMs to achieve the challenging price points necessary to meet end user demand.”

MotionEngine Scout simplifies and accelerates an OEM integration timeline by providing a single software package that interfaces with the IMU, optical flow sensor and wheel encoders. It also provides 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 market leaders, including STMicroelectronics, Bosch-Sensortec, and TDK InvenSense for supply chain flexibility, reducing the risk of supply shortages and providing options for cost and performance trade-offs.

Ceva has partnered with PixArt to incorporate its PAA5101 dual light optical tracking sensor.

PixArt’s director of strategic marketing, Charles Chong, adds: “Our PAA5101 sensor and the MotionEngine Scout software combines to deliver a robust, high-performance solution, without the need for customised sensors or lenses, lowering the overall [bill of materials] BoM and simplifying the design effort.”

MotionEngine Scout joins Ceva’s portfolio for autonomous indoor robots which includes MotionEngine Robotics software, the FSP200 sensor hub, the BNO086 system-in-package, and the FSM300 module.

Ceva also offers complementary intellectual property (IP) products required for autonomous robots, including its RivieraWaves Bluetooth and Wi-Fi platforms for connectivity and its SensPro2 sensor hub digital signal processor (DSP) which is capable of handling multiple sensor processing workloads from sensors such as cameras, lidar and IMUs.

MotionEngine Scout is available for evaluation now. 

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