Inertial platform squeezes acceleration, gyros and magnetic heading, plus GPS data fusion, into 12x12mm

Xsens has introduced miniature inertial navigation system (INS) module which uses input from an external GPS or other GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver to provide an accurate, real-time position, velocity and orientation data stream.

Xsens-MTi-7-drone

Measuring 12 x 12, and weighing under a gram, the MTi-7, is intended for use in drones, UAVs and autonomous ground vehicles (smart farming and robotics), as well as autonomous or remote-controlled mapping and imaging equipment. It is an upgrade from the existing MTi-1, in the same form factor.

Sensor fusion algorithms running on the module combine data from the on-board accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers with the signals from external GNSS or a barometer.

“The raw sensor signals are combined and processed at high speed in the MTi-7 module to produce a real-time data stream showing the device’s horizontal and vertical position, velocity, roll, pitch and yaw,” said the firm. “This data stream may be supplied to a host processor via a standard I2C, SPI or UART interface.”

Operating at output data rates up to 800Hz, with 2ms latency, allows for real-time operation of dynamic functions such as flight control and camera stabilisation, said the firm.

The module is supported by an Arduino-compatible development kit (MTi-7-DK), which provides access to the module’s I2C, SPI and UART interfaces via micro-USB connections.

“Developers can configure the MTi-7 via the freely available Xsens MT Software Suite,” said the firm. “The software suite includes a GUI for PCs operating on Linux or Windows platforms, as well as a software development kit including example source codes and complete documentation. Users of the MTi-7 also benefit from the Xsens 1-series ‘No End of Life’ policy, which guarantees availability of the MTi-7 or a pin- and function-compatible alternative for the duration of the customer’s product lifetime.”

Engineering samples of the module are available for shipment now. Unit pricing of the MTi-7 module is $109 (in an order quantity of 5,000 units).

The MTi-7 development kit is $499 from shop.xsens.com.


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