Hexagon’s Autonomy and Positioning division has launched its first autonomy positioning and sensing kits for the agriculture market and validated these solutions in its new autonomous research and development tractor. Through collaboration between its leading brands NovAtel and AutonomouStuff, their autonomous positioning and sensing kits were developed as part of Hexagon’s Smart Autonomous Mobility solutions portfolio launched at CES in early 2020. With decades of expertise in GNSS positioning, autonomy and safety-critical applications, NovAtel and AutonomouStuff created these solutions with agriculture machinery OEMs and robotic machinery manufacturers in mind.
As a demonstrator vehicle for Smart Autonomous Mobility, the autonomous tractor features object detection and classification, simultaneous relative localization and mapping, absolute positioning through GNSS technology, and localization sensor fusing. Built to illustrate the viability of new positioning and sensing kits, the tractor incorporates safety-critical learnings with situational and environmental awareness, and manual remote control when needed. This platform validates how these solutions and capabilities accelerate autonomous development.
The positioning and sensing kits are optimized for autonomous agriculture applications, including products like the SMART7 antenna and autonomous robotic capabilities through the NovAtel OEM7 driver powered by the Robot Operating System (ROS). The kits also feature TerraStar GNSS Correction Services, ALIGN heading and relative positioning firmware, and SPAN GNSS+INS technology. Though designed for agriculture, the kits integrate seamlessly into other off-road autonomy applications.