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Jun 17, 2015 9:09 EST

Pozyx: accurate indoor positioning for Arduino: Pozyx is an Arduino-compatible platform that provides centimeter accurate positioning and motion information both indoor and outdoor

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 17, 2015

Pozyx: accurate indoor positioning for Arduino

Pozyx in the press

popular mechanics | elektor | geeky gadgets | fabcross (jp) | EEtimes europe | postscapes | technology.org | makery

What is Pozyx?

Pozyx is the first affordable and easy-to-use hardware solution that provides accurate indoor (and outdoor) positioning and motion information for Arduino. In order to achieve a positioning accuracy of a few centimeters, the pozyx system relies on a novel wireless radio technology called ultra-wideband (UWB). The accuracy achieved with this ultra-wideband technology is several times better than traditional positioning systems based on WiFi, bluetooth, RFID or GPS signals. Furthermore, the signals can penetrate walls and make it suitable for indoor environments.

Pozyx is many times more accurate than today's positioning technologies.
Pozyx is many times more accurate than today’s positioning technologies.
Results from a live test of the Pozyx system. The blue line accurately represents the trajectory of the person walking in the room. The cone indicates the orientation of that person
Results from a live test of the Pozyx system. The blue line accurately represents the trajectory of the person walking in the room. The cone indicates the orientation of that person

 Key points

Pozyx is more than just positioning!
Pozyx is more than just positioning!

What to do with it?

The high positioning accuracy enables a lot of applications that weren’t possible before. For example, you can program a drone or robot to navigate through a building without bumping into things. But that’s just the beginning…

Possible applications for accurate positioning with Pozyx
Possible applications for accurate positioning with Pozyx

We firmly believe that for indoor positioning to become great, we have to share the technology and make it easy to work with such that creative minds can come up with the next killer positioning application! 

Depending on your skill level, you can use the system in several ways:

  • Beginner: Plug the Pozyx tag into your arduino and get started right away. Obtaining your position and orientation is done with a few lines of code using our Arduino library.
  • Intermediate: Use the Pozyx system as any other sensor. Connect with it through I2C. Perfect for a connection with a raspberry pie or some other platform.
  • Expert: Program the microcontroller of the tags or anchors yourself and connect with all the onboard sensors for ultimate control. We provide you detailed tutorials and example files for this.

How does it work?

Our system is very similar to the GPS you have in your car. Like the GPS satellites in the sky, Pozyx requires 4 little anchors to be placed on the walls. The Pozyx board is what you will put on an Arduino to track it.

The full pozyx system (READY TO LOCALIZE reward - power cables not shown)
The full pozyx system (READY TO LOCALIZE reward – power cables not shown)

Positioning is achieved by making range measurements (by means of two-way ranging) with the anchors. The Pozyx tags processes all measurements to compute the position and orientation of the board, at a high update rate.

Features

  • Indoor ranging and 3D positioning: Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology is the key to accurate ranging and positioning. However, the UWB-module itself only provides accurate timestamps. We have implemented state-of-the art algorithms to obtain the most accurate ranging and positioning information.
  • Automatic anchor calibration: 3D positioning requires at least 4 anchors to be within range (3 for 2D positioning). In general the position of these anchors must be known in advance. Pozyx provides the feature to obtain the anchor positions with a single line of code. No manual measuring required!
  • Remote control: With the use of ultra-wideband wireless technology, messages can be transmitted over the air. These messages can be text or user data, but also commands to control remote pozyx modules. We made it possible to remotely turn on LEDs, toggle pins, read out sensor data, and much more. Perfect for your home automation project!
  • 9-axis sensor fusion: Pozyx is equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. With these sensors it is possible to obtain the orientation of the device. However, separately these sensors all have their flaws. For example, the accelerometer is noisy and the gyroscope is biased. Together these flaws can be mitigated. Pozyx offers 9-axis sensor fusion (3 axes for every sensor) to get the best possible measurements.
  • Reprogrammable: By default, we program the board with our firmware for localization and tracking. However, it is possible to reprogram the microcontroller to suit your own needs. Using the debug pins (SWD), you can load your custom code on the microcontroller of the board. We provide you with detailed tutorials and example files that take care of all the configuration: gpio pins, leds, clocks, and all the sensors (through SPI or I2C).

Technical specs

Technical specs of the arduino-compatible board

  • dimensions: 71.75 x 58.00 mm
  • powerful STM32F401 microcontroller 
  • ultra-wideband transceiver (decawave DWM1000)
  • 9-axis inertial motion unit (invensense MPU9250)
  • pressure sensor (freescale MPL3115A2)
  • I2C for serial communication 
  • SWD for programming
  • micro USB for firmware updates 
  • 4 general purpose LEDS 
  • 2 LEDs for UWB connectivity 
  • 4 optional GPIO pins 
  • Onboard 3.3V regulator: automatic power selection from battery, arduino or usb.
Image of the pozyx tag mounted on an Arduino Uno. (the final version that you will receive will include an usb connection and a pressure sensor not seen here)
Image of the pozyx tag mounted on an Arduino Uno. (the final version that you will receive will include an usb connection and a pressure sensor not seen here)

The anchors have similar specs as the tags without the motion unit because the anchors are considered to be stationary. The anchors come in a protective casing of dimensions 63.50 x 63.50 x 22.86 mm and together with a micro USB power adapter.

Where we’re at

In terms of hardware, we are nearly finished. We have come from a partial breadboard implementation of our system to the working prototype. Currently, we are finishing an improved version that also includes the pressure sensor and an usb output for firmware updates.

In terms of software, the core features such as positioning, anchor calibration and sensor fusion are finished. However, we still need to polish things and finish the Arduino library. This will be performed during the campaign and during the production of the modules

Why we need your help

Pozyx isn’t a consumer product (yet). It’s a working prototype to show that accurate indoor positioning works! We don’t want to keep it on our shelves. We believe that with kickstarter, we can reach a lot of creative people that can use our positioning system to create the most wonderful applications!

Furthermore, with kickstarter we can:

  • reduce production cost by producing in higher volumes.
  • get feedback while we are finishing our product and writing the Arduino libraries.

Who are we?

Pozyx started with Samuel Van de Velde who has been doing research on indoor positioning for almost 5 years at Ghent university. Because their was no affordable or simple positioning platform available to test his algorithms or applications, he decided to make one. Once the ultra-wideband technology was available, Vadim Vermeiren and Koen Verheyen joined to make the first prototype. After that Michael Van de Velde joined for some serious marketing action.

The Pozyx team: Samuel, Vadim, Koen and Michael
The Pozyx team: Samuel, Vadim, Koen and Michael
Contact Information:

Pozyx laboratories

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