MotionEngine Scout dead reckoning software for robots

26th March 2021
Alex Lynn

CEVA has unveiled the Hillcrest Labs MotionEngine Scout, a highly accurate dead reckoning software solution for intelligent navigation systems in indoor robots including robot cleaners and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) used in industrial or commercial settings.

MotionEngine Scout enables indoor autonomous robots – an industry that ABI Research expects to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20% over the next five years - to achieve precise positioning without the need for expensive cameras or LiDAR for navigation. Instead, this sensor and processor agnostic embedded software solution fuses measurements taken from the robot’s optical flow sensor, wheel encoders and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and uses this data to deliver better dead reckoning accuracy and robustness against individual sensor errors.

As a testament to this, MotionEngine Scout claims to reduce the trajectory error by a factor of five in challenging scenarios, including surface flooring such as vinyl, tile, and various styles of carpet.

Chad Lucien, Vice President and General Manager of the Sensor Fusion Business Unit at CEVA, commented: “We developed MotionEngine Scout to lower the cost and technology barriers faced by OEMs developing indoor autonomous robots. Our vast experience in robot navigation, sensor fusion, calibration, and sensor analytics have enabled us to deliver a high-precision dead reckoning software solution that can enhance or provide an alternative to camera or LiDAR based systems. MotionEngine Scout paves the way for a new class of indoor robots that can intelligently navigate their environment while enabling OEM’s to achieve the challenging price points necessary to meet end user demand.”

For robot OEMs, MotionEngine Scout simplifies and accelerates the integration timeline by providing a single software package that interfaces with the IMU, optical flow sensor and wheel encoders and provides an integrated sensor output with the unified robot pose (includes location and orientation in 3D space).

It supports a broad range of commercial IMU sensors from the leading suppliers including STMicroelectronics, Bosch-Sensortec, and TDK InvenSense to provide OEM’s with supply chain flexibility, thereby reducing supply shortage risks and providing options for cost and performance tradeoffs. For the essential optical flow sensor, CEVA has partnered with PixArt to incorporate its PAA5101 dual-light optical tracking sensor into the solution, further reducing development complexity and time-to-market.

Charles Chong, Director of Strategic Marketing at PixArt Imaging USA commented: “CEVA’s unique sensor fusion knowhow for indoor robot navigation perfectly complements our optical tracking sensor expertise and we are pleased to partner with CEVA to address this lucrative and growing market. Our PAA5101 sensor and the MotionEngine Scout software combines to deliver a robust, high-performance solution, without the need for customised sensors or lenses, lowering the overall BOM and simplifying the design effort.”

MotionEngine Scout has extended CEVA’s sensor product line for autonomous indoor robots which includes the following IMU-based solutions: MotionEngine Robotics software, FSP200 sensor hub, BNO086 system-in-package, and FSM300 module. CEVA also offers complementary IP products required for autonomous robots, including its RivieraWaves Bluetooth and Wi-Fi platforms for connectivity and its SensPro2 sensor hub DSP which is capable of handling multiple sensor processing workloads from sensors such as cameras, LiDAR, IMUs etc.

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