You can crown your automobiles with a wide assortment of overlapping sensors, but even this will not always provide you a precise sense of your location. So when your position becomes invisible even for the GPS satellite, why not the route to the land-based beacons? It is the solution proposed by 5D Robotics, a Carlsbad, Calif. enterprise that scripts anchor points with transmitters that program in ultra-wide band frequencies.
The signal power of UWB is very low, and hence, you have to be within a range of 200 metres, but this will not cause you any trouble if you possess enough beacons, as per Philip Mann, the company’s Vice President of sales.
According to Mann, “It is a peer system in which the distance between beacons is measured by themselves through simple ranging, and then an automobile can navigate by triangulation.” The vehicle may incorporate a transmitter of its own, that can better serve a moving beacon, or, it may just carry a UWB tag.
Extreme low power is mandatory in such systems because they broadcast along an immensely extensive spectrum of frequencies. Supplied with too much power and you will impede with every wireless app in the picture, including the garage door opener. But it works excellent in closed-off areas, like an outdoor loading zone or a warehouse. Surely, you could instead place a detectable tab to monitor your vehicles, but in such case, it would be difficult to re-choreography their mobility. With the beacon system, it is the process of only a few mouse clicks.
5D Robotics is different from 3D Robotics, which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of entering into the military market. “They are ideal for following, that is when a soldier drives or walks in the front and a vehicle follows, shipping cargo,” says Mann. You can also lead a UAV along, a lucrative option for utility companies. One additional point in favour of beacons is that they are quite firmer than GPS to spoof. The same is applicable for indoor navigation systems structured by Wi-Fi. If you absolutely cannot allow any unauthorized access to your system, then UWB beacons are the best alternative.
Human transport is one thing, and forklifts are another. 5D Robotics is analysing that market carefully, initiating with a super safe, slow-moving application, guided wheelchairs. It is introducing the Model A with Whill, a start-up organization in San Francisco. The newly introduced model just got its first recognition during its public outing at Robo-universe.
Conclusion – The new Model A will not rely just on UWB, but would also include numerous types of sensors, perhaps including LIDAR, to allow it to tag behind a vehicle or a person moving along a virtual path route. “Casinos can use it to direct high rollers to their playing tables, hotels could employ it to offer elderly people to their cars, and more, “Mann says.
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