Team Bumblebee is a group of innovative students from the College of Design and Engineering (CDE), School of Computing (SoC), and the NUS Business School at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Their vision is to build autonomous systems of the future. Their focus is on designing and building autonomous maritime vehicles capable of navigating both underwater and on the water surface. The team consists of students from diverse backgrounds, including Mechanical, Computer, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Business.
Team Bumblebee’s current system comprises three autonomous-capable vehicles: BBAUV4.1 (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle), ASV 3.0 (Autonomous Surface Vessel), and Jellyfish (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). These vehicles have achieved remarkable success in international competitions, such as the RoboSub Challenge and RobotX.
A need for accurate and robust INS
Team Bumblebee needed a high-precision, robust, low-latency IMU with a GPS unit to achieve precise localization and navigation in a maritime environment. Their key requirements included:
Less than 1-degree Roll & Pitch accuracy.
Compatibility with Ubuntu, preferably with an ROS driver or readily available third-party driver.
Adequate in-built magnetic shielding to prevent interference.
Robust and standard connectors.
Support for RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) positioning.
These sensors would be mounted on a modified WAM-V platform used for autonomous missions in the maritime environment, enabling navigation, obstacle avoidance, object detection, and mission planning.
Why team Bumblebee chose SBG Systems
Team Bumblebee conducted a thorough evaluation of various IMU providers. They decided to partner with SBG Systems due to several key factors:
Weather-resistant casing: SBG Systems’ sensors came with IP-68 weather-resistive casings, making them suitable for maritime applications.
Manufacturer’s credibility: SBG Systems’ reputation in the field of inertial sensors and navigation systems played a significant role in their decision.
Technical advancements: SBG Systems’ Ellipse-D sensor offered advanced features, including dual-antenna GPS and improved heading data, reducing the need for magnetometer calibration.
Expert support: Team Bumblebee received valuable technical advice from the experts who were consistently available to assist.
Accurate orientation and strong support
After integrating SBG Systems’ Ellipse-D into their systems, team Bumblebee experienced significant improvements:
Dual antenna GNSS: The addition of dual antenna GNSS eliminated the influence of magnetic interference, providing accurate orientation data and absolute yaw readings, crucial for navigation above water bodies.
Gyro calibration: The team received support from SBG Systems’ engineers to address gyro bias issues and ensure stable performance.
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