Positioning Sensors

Novariant autosteering solutions utilize the data from positioning sensors to achieve ultra-precise steering accuracy for a variety of applications including robotics, precision agriculture, automotive, construction, mining and other vertical markets. This combination of precision autosteering technology and positioning data will enable vehicles to move along paths/fields/roads with cm-level (sub-inch) accuracy while avoiding obstacles and ditches, increasing safety, reducing operating costs and maximizing efficiency.

Inertial Sensor - Inertial sensors are used to calculate the exact orientation when a vehicle is moving on rough or sloping paths. This concept is called Terrain Compensation. Novariant steering controllers use the integrated Inertial Sensors consisting of 3-Axis Gyroscope, 3-Axis Accelerometer and 3-Axis magnetometer to calculate the difference between the GPS antenna's location and the actual position of the vehicle's center point on the ground, when a vehicle is moving up or down a slope or hill. The combination of the 3-axis GNSS positioning information (X, Y, Z) along with the 3-axis Roll, Pitch and Yaw information of inertial sensors improve the accuracy across sloping or rough terrains. In the precision agriculture, this will minimize skips and overlaps between each pass when working on hilly paths.

Wheel Angle Sensors - Wheel Angle Sensors (WAS) are used to know the exact position of the wheels. While the steering solutions with dual GNSS receivers can drive the exact wheel positions from the locations of the two smart GNSS antennas, in the steering systems with one GNSS receiver, the exact direction where the wheels are pointed can be driven from the wheel angle sensor inputs. All Novariant steering solutions, whether single or dual GNSS controllers, can use the WAS inputs in their control algorithm for achieving the highest level of accuracy in calculating heading. Novariant steering solutions working in combination with wheel angle sensor inputs can be used for steering all types of vehicles with hydraulic, steer by wire, CAN, mechanical and electrical interfaces.

Tactile Sensors - Tactile sensors can perceive the surrounding area and detect obstacles, ditches, and even agricultural row crops by touch. Novariant steering controllers can accept the inputs from the flexible, tactile sensing solutions and combine the sensor information with GNSS calculations to achieve the optimum level of accuracy.

Sonic Sensors - Sonic sensors utilize ultrasound to measure the distance of a vehicle from its surroundings, such as a hill, an agricultural field row, a wheel track or a road mark. When using ultrasound, the guidelines can be scanned without any contact. Ultrasonic sensors can provide accurate short-range data (1-10 meters), which makes them also useful for parking assistance systems and backup warning systems. Novariant autosteering solutions can use the sonic sensor inputs in combination with other technologies such as GNSS for automatically steering a vehicle precisely inside rows and alongside furrows, edges, parking areas and designated path boundaries.

Encoders - When Novariant's hands-free GNSS assisted steering solution is applied, a mechanical drive unit rotates the steering wheel by receiving commands from a Novariant controller. The motor's integrated encoder can measure the relative rotation of the steering wheel. Novariant controllers can then receive and apply the motor's encoder feedback in their control loop algorithm to achieve an even higher steering accuracy and improved performance.