Inertial solution for accurately assessing location coordinates (ISAAC)
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Accurately determining one’s location has long been a persistent problem in navigation and has reappeared in recent years in the field of mobile computing. The ability to determine a device’s location indoors is needed for both automation and efficient communication in collaborative robotic and sensor networks. Technologies such as indoor GPS transmitters and Cricket have been employed, but have had limited success due to cost, accuracy, and power consumption. The Inertial Solution for Accurately Assessing location Coordinates (ISAAC) was developed as a means of filling this need without requiring infrastructure or expensive components to accurately determine position, inside or outside. ISAAC is based on modified six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) dead reckoning algorithms currently being used by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). UAVs typically have access to other types of sensors to supplement and/or replace the IMU measurements. ISAAC was implemented using a low-cost MEMS 6DOF IMU in which the onboard firmware was modified to incorporate the dead reckoning calculations and communications necessary to realize ISAAC. ISAAC was implemented as a portable unit which communicated with a host computer through an RS-232 interface. ISAAC did not perform as well as expected; the location coordinates were very inconsistent with device movements and did not produce any useful data. The correct intermediate results of the calculations and subsequent review by a local subject-matter-expert implies that the source of the erroneous results lie with the accuracy and precision of the MEMS IMU. ISAAC presents a foundation for future work where more robust sensors and/or filtering can be used for further examination of inertial-based location systems.