GPS-free navigation

The Spectacular AI SDK provides GPS-free navigation capabilities based on a technique called Visual-Inertial Odometry (VIO), that is, the fusion of data from cameras and IMU sensors. The capabilities are similar to those of high-end inertial navigation systems, but with commodity hardware such as low-cost MEMS IMUs. The SDK can run under very tight computational constraints in embedded processors.


For drone (UAV) use cases, we currently recommend custom hardware with suitable, correctly synchronized and configured sensors, which improves accuracy and robustness over off-the-shelf devices such as OAK-D or RealSense. Examples are shown in the video above. The Spectacular AI Core SDK can also fuse additional sensors such as barometric altitude, which is beneficial especially at higher altitudes.

In cases where full independence from GPS is required, VIO can also be fused with other positioning systems such as Visual Positioning (VPS).

Contact us for more information about drone use cases.

GNSS-VIO for land vehicles

In cases where GPS is mostly available, but suffers from outages, which is very common in non-aerial use cases, VIO and GPS can be combined into GNSS-VIO, which provides uninterrupted positioning during outages as demonstrated in the video below.

The red line in the video shows a trajectory from a RTK-GPS system, which can ideally provide centimeter-level accuracy, but fails when the vehicle entere the tunnel. The blue dot and ellipse show the GNSS-VIO position and its estimated uncertainty. The GNSS-VIO provides an uninterrupted position througout the tunnel and converges to the RTK-GPS position once it recovers.

GNSS-VIO can also provide additional information that is not readily available from a (single-antenna) GPS system. In particular the global orientation and velocity can be estimated accurately - even during outages.

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