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Project Smart Tooling


Interreg

Overview

Smart Tooling is a project within the European program Interreg Fladers-The Netherlands. For the Robotics Smart Tooling project, KI <MPi, in collaboration with partners from Flanders and the Netherlands, develop innovative robotics applications for maintenance in the process industry.

Objective

The goal of the project is to strengthen the process industry by working more cost-efficient and safer. Research shows that there is a need for more than 50 specific robot applications. SMEs have the challenge to develop technological solutions in collaboration with knowledge institutions. Smart Tooling is looking for SMEs that develop technological solutions in collaboration with knowledge institutions:

  • 8 service providers (large corporates or SMEs) specialized in maintenance of process industries will be deployed as project partner “light” to facilitate research and testing at asset owners. For this group, a total budget of € 270,000 is allocated, of which 40% is subsidized.
  • 16 SME companies will be project partner “light” for the actual development, engineering and construction of prototypes and proofs of concept. For this group, a total budget of € 1,400,000 is available, of which 50% is subsidized.
  • 32 companies are actively involved in the innovation clusters, but are not receiving financial support.

Partners and Partners “Light”

KI <MPi is responsible for financial and project management aspects of the Smart Tooling project. Within the project, the following project partners work closely together: KI <MPi, BASF, Dow Benelux, Impuls Zeeland, Rewin, BOM, BEMAS, Sirris, Ghent University, University of Twente, Avans Hogeschool.

The project is divided into several clusters, with some Project Partner “Light” inspired to develop these innovations during the project period.

Applications within the cluster:
UAS – Indoor drone flight
UAS – Indoor drone flight
Work place
Cleaning
Inspection - pipelines
Project Partner “Light”
Ronik, Delft Dynamics, POZYX
SPIE, Avular, Airobot
ITIS, IRISTICK , Augnition n.v.
Vertidrive, Group Peeters, Mourik, Buchen, Serenity, Heemskerk, VTEC
VTEC, IDTEC, Serenity

Financiers

Interreg V Flanders-The Netherlands is a program of the European Union aimed at cross-border cooperation, which aims to strengthen and promote innovation and sustainable development within the border region. In these projects, companies, governments, knowledge institutions and other organizations on both sides of the border work together to achieve concrete innovations. For 2014-2020, Europe will provide more than 152 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Smart Tooling project receives funding from the Interreg Flanders-Netherlands program.



Firmware release v1.1

Today, we have released a new firmware update; v1.1. The focus of this new update has been the improvement of the positioning accuracy, the smoothness of positioning and yet another improvement in update rate. The firmware can be downloaded on the thank you page for your order. On all new devices ordered the new firmware is installed by default. The Arduino and Python library has also been updated and new sketches have been added to showcase the new features. An overview of all the new firmware features is listed below:

  • Positioning update rate up to 140Hz depending on the UWB settings.
  • Increased update rate for ranging up to 350Hz.
  • The TRACKING algorithm is available in POZYX_POS_ALG for tracking (fast) moving objects.
  • Updated and finetuning of the positioning algorithms.
  • Added the register POZYX_RANGE_PROTOCOL to select between the PRECISION and FAST protocol.
  • Added the register POZYX_POS_FILTER to tune filters for smoothing the positioning data.
  • Added the register POZYX_MAX_LIN_ACC which can be used to detect a device falling down.
  • Removed the LEAST_SQUARES algorithm.
  • Bugfixes and improved overall stability.
    • UWB_GAIN can now be saved correctly to flash memory.
    • Fixed crash when positioning on multipe UWB channels at the same time.
    • ...

In conjunction with this firmware update, we have added a system performance section to the datasheet that provides detailed technical data and benchmarks for the positioning accuracy, the update rate, and the positioning delays for the system.

Finally, the Python library documentation is added to the website.

Let us know what you think and give us your remarks so that we can continue on improving the system. The next firmware update will be focused on improving the robustness for the autocalibration.



Pozyx in European drone project.

Pozyx is excited to announce the official start of the European AIRT project for tracking drones in the creative industries. Within the scope of this project, Pozyx will optimize and miniaturize its system for the use of drones in an indoor environment. The goal is to provide accurate and robust high-rate positioning information for the drone in the most challenging indoor environments, such that the drone can safely and automomously navigate an indoor filming set.

Pozyx getting the IoT world award

The AIRT consortium.

Pozyx getting the IoT world award

Drones used for filming outdoor.

Pozyx getting the IoT world award

Drones used for filming outdoor.

The project is funded by the European commission under the Horizon 2020 program and is a cooperation between the polytechnical university of Valencia (ES), Clearhead media (UK), Aerotools UAV (ES) and Pozyx. More information about the AIRT project can be found on the official Facebook AIRT project page.



Pozyx wins the IoT World Innovation award

We are proud to announce that at the IoT World conference in Dublin this week, Pozyx Labs was awarded the Innovation of Things award 2016. After a two-day competition the judges finally chose Pozyx Labs out of 34 other competing startup companies active in IoT.

With the enormous success (over 11.000 visitors) of the IoT World conference earlier this year in San Fransisco, the event now welcomed its visitors in Dublin, Ireland. Using the same formula as before, the event was packed with expert talks and a big exposition. In May next year, the next IoT World event will be in San Fransisco again and Pozyx will be there as well!

Pozyx getting the IoT world award

Samuel Van de Velde receiving the award for Pozyx Labs from the judges at IoT World.

Pozyx getting the IoT world award

The Innovation of Things award 2016.

Pozyx getting the IoT world award

Conference room at IoT World - Dublin.



Ghent University spinoff and expanding the team

We are proud to announce that Pozyx is now an official spin-off of Ghent University. The spin-off label means that Ghent University has transferred the IP rights of the relevant research on indoor localization from the past years to Pozyx. In short-term, this will allow us to incorporate the IP and further improve the Pozyx system. The spin-off label also strenthens our long-term strategic relation with the University related to R&D for the years to come.

Ghent university

To top things off, we have further expanded the team with three new employees, Michiel, Jan-Frederik and (yet another) Michiel. They will be working on improving the current system and the further development of a large-scale positioning solution.

Welcome to the team boys!



Firmware update v1.0

Overview


Today, we have released the new firmware update v1.0. It is the first major update since the release of the pozyx product and it contains a large number of new features and fixes. The firmware files will be emailed to all our customers, all pozyx sets available on the store will have the new firmware installed by default. The Arduino library has also been updated and new sketches have been added to showcase the new features. An overview of all the new firmware features is listed below:

  • Update rate up to 100Hz depending on the UWB settings.
  • USB interface (virtual COM port).
  • Ability to save the configuration to non-volatile memory.
  • Revised interrupt configuration to allow compatibility with more Arduino models such as the Arduino Yùn.
  • Added message retransmission protocol to increase UWB reliability.
  • Improved overall stability.
  • Various bug fixes:
    • UWB preamble length 64 available.
    • UWB channel 7 available.
    • Arduino does not reset together with the Pozyx reset.
    • Temperature register now reads chip temperature.
    • More stable polling.
    • New register addresses for the GPIO configuration
    • ...

The next firmware update will be more focused towards the accuracy and robustness of ranging, positioning and auto-calibration. This will include some new algorithms and fine-tuning of the current algorithms. This next firmware release is scheduled in 2-3 months. More details will be released later.

Variable ranging and positioning update rate

In the previous firmware version, the update rate for ranging and positioning was fixed at about 66Hz and 15Hz, respectively. This was mainly because of the strict timing requirements of the ranging protocol. In this new version the update rate will depend on the ultra-wideband settings. More specifically, the preamble length and the bitrate. In general, a shorter preamble length and a higher bitrate will result in a higher update rate. However, this also results in a reduced operating range.

In the Fig. 1, the average time it takes for ranging is shown for the different UWB settings. The timing is measured starting before the ranging command is initiated by an Arduino Uno and stopping when Pozyx triggers the interrupt for success. It can be seen that the minimum time for ranging is about 3 milliseconds, allowing for a maximum update rate of 330 Hz when continuously ranging. However, if we take into account the additional time it takes for reading out the ranging data and printing it to the serial monitor, we obtain a maximum ranging update rate of 100Hz. This highest update rate is available when using a preamble length of 64 and a bitrate of 6.81Mbit/sec.


ranging update rate Pozyx

Fig 1. Ranging duration on the Pozyx device.


ranging update rate Pozyx

Fig 2. Positioning duration on the Pozyx device.


In Fig. 2, the average time for positioning with 4 anchors using the Least Squares algorithm is shown for the different UWB settings. The timing is measured starting before the positioning command is initiated by an Arduino Uno and stopping when Pozyx triggers the interrupt for success. It can be seen that the minimum time for positioning is about 10 milliseconds, allowing for a maximum positioning update rate of 100 Hz. This highest update rate is again available when using a preamble length of 64 and a bitrate of 6.81Mbit/sec. Note that for positioning the I²C delays can be circumvented by setting the Pozyx device for continuous positioning. This way, the data can be read over I²C in the background while the device is performing positioning. Note that using the UWB_ONLY algorithm adds roughly 2 milliseconds to positioning.

Save configuration to non-volatile memory

In this new firmware version, it becomes possible to save the content of any writable register to non-volatile memory. This way, the register content will be loaded after resetting the device (even if the device is without power). Similarly the content of the device list and the anchors can be saved. This new feature allows to set up the Pozyx device in a fixed configuration and to save anchor coordinates such that this must not be given at startup.

The following new library functions are available for this use:

USB interface

With the new firmware, it becomes possible to communicate with the Pozyx device without an Arduino. We have implemented a simple to use protocol over USB that uses the virtual COM port. It must be noted that the interrupt line is not connected through the USB protocol, so only polling is available. Hence, for the best performance, I²C is still recommended. More details on how to use the USB protocol can be found here.

Furthermore, we will be releasing a Python library that uses the USB protocol that will allow you to easily use the Pozyx device from a computer, robot or Raspberry Pi.

Revised interrupt configuration

In the previous firmware version, it was possible to choose between two interrupt pins, with pin 2 activated by default on the Pozyx device. Unfortunately, the different Arduino models often have different pin configurations, making it incompatible with the Pozyx shield. For example, on the Arduino Yun, pin 2 is internally connected with the I²C pin that is used for communication. Because of this, the pozyx interrupt blocked the I²C and communication with the pozyx device was not possible.

In this firmware update we have changed the interrupt configuration, turning it down by default and allowing the user to select between 6 different pins on the Pozyx shield to act as an interrupt. Furthermore, the interrupts can now be configured as active low or active high with or without latching.

This functionality has been added to the Pozyx.begin() function of the Arduino library and is also made available through the function configInterruptPin().

Pozyx expands the team

We're proud to welcome Ruben and Laurent to the Pozyx team. They have already started a few weeks ago, but now they are all up to speed and ready to help people with their questions about Pozyx. Apart from support, they will create exciting new prototype applications for pozyx and help with the upcoming Python and ROS library.

Welcome to the team boys!

New teammembers


Pozyx Labs starts pilot
project in retail

On April 1st, the LUNAR project (Localization based on Ultra wide band technology: optimizing Network protocols, Antennas and localization Algorithms for the Retail industry) has started with the aim to bring accurate indoor positioning to retail. The project is a collaboration of several research and industry partners and is supported by the Belgian government. The partners of the project are Ghent University, Colruyt, Decathlon, Made and Pozyx Labs. In this project, Pozyx Labs is the industrial lead and is focused on providing real-time multi-target positioning information in a large area (1800sqm) filled with metal racks and items. The project includes an in-store pilot to evaluate the system's performance in a live environment.

More information can be found on the official project webpage. The project is partially funded by IMEC and Vlaio.


All Kickstarter orders shipped

We are proud to announce that all orders from Kickstarter have been launched. They are the first people to have the first Pozyx system in their hands. The system contains the first public firmware version v0.9.

Some kickstarter backers still haven't provided us with their shipping details, so we haven't been able to send those few people their reward. If you are one of these people, please email us at support@pozyx.io




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