Touted as the first open-source IMU development kit for low-cost precise navigation applications, the integrated hardware and software platform can cut development time and costs by up to 80%

By Warren Miller, contributing writer

ACEINNA, a
provider of inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensing technology, recently
debuted the OpenIMU, which the company boasts is the first open-source GPS-/GNSS-assisted
inertial navigation software stack on the market. As part of the OpenIMU
Development kit, the open-source software is intended to aid in the development
of localization and navigation capabilities for everything from autonomously
guided vehicles (AGVs) to industrial robots and drones.

IMU-based
sensor networks are a helpful tool in enhancing the internal navigation systems
of all kinds of autonomous machines and vehicles. Although frequently found in
airplanes (both manned and unmanned) and in spacecraft, IMUs can also be used
to maneuver almost anything that relies on GPS functionality for navigational
purposes. When GPS signals are unavailable to the receiver (whether they’re
indoors, underground, or experiencing some kind of interference), the IMU takes
over and uses previously collected data to form an impression of the device’s
location and direction.

 

The OpenIMU
software is free to download and includes documentation and a simulated setting
complete with advanced sensor error models in which developers can troubleshoot
their designs. Also included are an RTOS-based data collection and sampling
engine, a real-time GPS/INS Kalman Filter library for navigation algorithm
calibration, an IDE/compiler tool chain, and a JTAG debugger to help
programmers write and debug code.

The OpenIMU hardware
development kit also includes a JTAG-pod, a precision-mount fixture in addition
to the OpenIMU300 module, which itself features a nine-axis gyro, accelerometer,
and a magnetometer sensor suite including a 180-MHz Arm Cortex floating-point
CPU. Housed in a 24 × 37 × 9.5-mm module package, the IMU
operates from 2.7 VDC to 5.5 VDC.

Instructions
on downloading the open-source software as well as information on pricing and
product specifications are available at www.aceinna.com/openimu. To install the Open IMU stack now,
follow the directions at https://developers.aceinna.com. Several free
GPS/INS and IMU applications are available at ACEINNA’s Navigation app store: https://developers.aceinna.com/apps