May 20, 2024

OutdoorNav Version 0.12 provides key features and updates to enhance the autonomy software experience including improved localization in GPS-denied environments with support for the cost-effective FixPosition XVN sensor, faster and more flexible mission planning with a new Network of Paths workflow, and improved obstacle detection and avoidance in teleoperation mode. See full list of features down below. 

OutdoorNav is a navigation software package that can be used with Clearpath’s Jackal UGV, Husky UGV or Warthog UGV to enable autonomous operation in outdoor environments.  It also powers the recently released Husky Observer and enables it to perform autonomous inspection workflows.  OutdoorNav enables robotics researchers and developers to fast-track their development by offering robust and reliable autonomous outdoor navigation out of the box.  

What’s New 

Fix Position XVN Integration 

OutdoorNav now supports FixPosition XVN as its GNSS (GPS) localization sensor.  XVN is a cost-effective GNSS sensor that augments its localization with visual odometry from its on-board camera. This makes XVN’s localization solution robust to temporary GPS outages and enables the robot to transit through demanding environments. These are common challenges in industrial facilities such as substations or ports. It also enables small transits indoors for the robot to park at its charging dock. 

Support for the XVN sensor effectively lowers the cost of the sensor suite for OutdoorNav enabling more users to access the software. Additionally, it provides a dual antenna GPS localization system which outputs a high-quality heading estimate to the navigation software and can provide high accuracy RTK GPS localization.

 

FixPosition XVN GNSS (GPS) sensoor now supported in OutdoorNav Version 0.12

Network of Paths 

The latest version of OutdoorNav includes a new workflow, called Network of Paths, which makes building and operating missions much easier and faster. Users can now build a network of traversable paths for their robot in their environment during the setup phase. Then, with a single click of a waypoint, the robot will plan its way through the available paths to reach its destination. It can also use the available paths to reroute around obstacles. Waypoints can be tied together to build missions with multiple destinations. 

The addition of the Network of Paths workflow helps keep the robot operating where you expect it to. The robot will travel on the pre-set network of paths, and will only deviate a specified amount from the path to plan around obstacles, effectively lowering the risk of it driving into dangerous areas or encountering hazards.

 

Network of Paths workflow improves mission planning and robustness of navigation 

 

Assisted Teleoperation

OutdoorNav includes teleoperation when our platforms are equipped with the appropriate camera systems and network equipment. Operating a robot remotely through a camera feed can be challenging and it is important to keep things safe and avoid collisions. OutdoorNav now uses the obstacle detection sensors to help prevent collections during teleoperation of our platforms.   

The GUI joystick icon now provides on-screen situational awareness by indicating the threat level in each direction of motion. OutdoorNav will slow and then stop the platform as the user tele-operates it towards an obstacle, preventing collections. 

 

 

CLI Tool

OutdoorNav now ships with a new Command Line Tool (CLI) to enable easier installation and most importantly software updates.  

 

OutdoorNav In The Field

To test out our latest software release, we visited a rail-yard operator in the Southern United States to test navigation among a challenging, dynamic environment with the Husky Observer UGV. Husky was able to navigate throughout the facility and through intermittent GPS loss while providing valuable inspection data to our rail-operator partners. 

Stay tuned for a customer story related to using Husky Observer in an industrial facility environment such as a rail-yard.

 

 

Upgrade Today 

OutdoorNav Version 0.12 is now available to all new and existing OutdoorNav license holders. Contact your sales representative or email us at [email protected] to upgrade to the latest version.  Click here to learn more about our OutdoorNav autonomy software.