University of Windsor,
Keywords: micro gyroscope, inertial sensor, navigation, obstacle detection
Summary:There is a need for effective, standalone indoor navigation device which not only can track users in unknown environments but also assist their navigation by obstacle avoidance and path guidance. This research developed a state-of-the-art standalone and portable navigation system by implementing improved and effective micro inertial navigation unit that is integrated with environmental mapping sensors for obstacle detection and environment sensing. It offers efficient alternative compare to the existing GPS (Global Positioning System) or WiFi assisted systems by providing greater functionality to navigate in dark, visually restricted environments, operate without satellite or other signal, where this type of navigation system could prove most powerful. It is efficient and cost effective alternative compare to existing LiDAR (Light Detection and Range) or vision based SLAM (Simultaneous localization and mapping) systems. The micro inertial sensor research leveraged on the wafer-scale fabrication process to developed higher sensitivity micro-systems based gyroscopes. Rapid development of micro-fabrication technology is allowing both the academia and the industry to pursue mass fabrication of high-precision motion sensors. This research developed micro gyroscope design, fabrication and packaging prospect for MEMS based ultra-precision gyroscopes with robust mechanical materials that have never been explored before in MEMS. The gyroscope motion data is integrated with obstacle sensors for guided navigation. By the sensor fusion it created a fully integrated and automated system that can localize a user in any unknown environment, while simultaneously building a map of the environment from external sensor data. The integrated system development methodology presented in this research has many potential applications including mobile robotics, underground navigation, assisted navigation for individuals with visual impairments, utility personnel in visually restricted environments.