Raising the standard for inertial motion sensor performance

11th September 2018
Source: Xsens
Posted By : Enaie Azambuja
Raising the standard for inertial motion sensor performance

Xsens has released upgraded versions of its MTi 1-series of motion-sensing Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) modules, offering improved roll, pitch and yaw measurement accuracy and higher tolerance of mechanical stress than the first generation of the product. The MTi 1-series modules are expected to build on the popularity of the original products, providing accurate motion tracking and orientation capabilities in high-volume smart agriculture, construction, marine, industrial and logistics applications.

The new modules share the same footprint, pin allocation and software interface as the first generation of MTi 1-series products to enable drop-in replacement of the older parts in existing system designs.

Xsens has integrated into the new modules the latest, best-in-class accelerometer and gyroscope ICs alongside its high-performance sensor fusion algorithms. The modules synthesise at very high speed the inputs from multiple motion sensors, to provide synchronised data on an object’s heading, orientation, acceleration and position.

The Xsens sensor fusion technology produces accurate measurements of high-frequency motion, ideal for stabilisation of handheld laser scanners and of professional UAVs and drones.

The updated design of the MTi 1-series modules has produced improved performance, including static roll/pitch measurement accuracy of ±0.5°rms, dynamic roll/pitch measurement accuracy of ±0.8°rms, and dynamic yaw measurement accuracy of ±2°rms.

Xsens has also improved the mechanical design of the modules’ 12.1mm x 12.1mm x 2.6mm surface-mount package, which is less susceptible to the effects of torsional stress, and thus more robust and reliable in demanding applications that are subject to shock or vibration.

Xsens has realised this more robust design without compromising the appeal of the MTi 1-series to highly weight-constrained applications such as drones: each upgraded module still weighs less than 1g.

Xsens is supporting the upgraded MTi 1-series modules with a new, high-performance development kit which includes a shield board with an Arduino-compatible header for easy integration into shield-based prototype systems.

The kit is supplied with Xsens’ intuitive MT Software Suite for the Windows and Linux operating platforms, and a software development kit with drivers and embedded software examples. It provides access to the module’s I2C, SPI and UART interfaces and a micro-USB connection.

Hein Beute, Director Product Marketing at Xsens, said: ‘The MTi 1-series are the industry’s smallest and lightest IMU modules for industrial, professional and prosumer applications.

As demand in the Internet of Moving Things domain continues to grow at a strong rate, manufacturers of UAVs and other equipment for data-driven applications such as autonomous agriculture need highly accurate, but small and light, positioning sensors to precisely guide their operation. The MTi 1-series modules are the perfect fit in this fast-growing market.’

Xsens provides four products in the MTi 1-series:

• MTi-1, an IMU providing inertial measurement data
• MTi-2, a Vertical Reference Unit (VRU) providing inertial measurement data, roll/pitch measurements, and heading tracking
• MTi-3, an Attitude Heading and Reference System (AHRS) providing inertial measurement data and roll/pitch/yaw measurements
• MTi-7, a full-featured GNSS/INS module which accepts a GNSS input to provide full 3D orientation, position and velocity data as well as inertial measurement data.

Users of the MTi 1-series modules benefit from the Xsens ‘No End of Life’ policy, which guarantees availability of the module or a pin- and function-compatible alternative for the duration of the customer’s product lifetime.

The module is available for shipment in production volumes now. The MTi-3 development kit, priced at €399/$449 and the MTi-7 Development kit priced at €449/$499, may be ordered online from shop.xsens.com or from online catalog distributors.

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