October 18, 2022
Canada’s Clearpath Robotics, which manufactures and develops mobile robotics platforms for research and development, has announced Outdoor Nav – an autonomous navigation software platform designed for vehicle developers, OEMs, and robotics researchers. Compatible with Clearpath’s outdoor mobile platforms and third-party industrial vehicles, the software provides reliable GPS-based navigation for faster and more efficient autonomous vehicle development, the company said.
“Robotics product development can often be a difficult, sometimes harrowing experience,” said Bryan Webb, president of Clearpath Robotics. “Building a robust navigation system system is expensive and risky, and it may prevent you from bringing your product to market in a timely fashion. We built and designed OutdoorNav to streamline your development of autonomous vehicles. You no longer need a full team of robotics navigation experts and months of prototyping to get your autonomous system into the field.”
The OutdoorNav software offers point-to-point GPS-based autonomous navigation through the proprietary fusion of vehicle sensor data. When paired with compatible hardware, the software also provides built-in obstacle detection and avoidance, as well as continuous path planning. This allows off-road vehicles to navigate autonomously between waypoints collision-free, Clearpath said.
Vehicle developers can use the software through a web-based UI or through a documented application programming interface (API). With the web-based interface, users can create, editor, monitor and manage autonomous missions, visualize data from onboard sensors, and view the vehicle’s live position on an interactive map. Custom tasks, such as capturing sensor data or images at specific locations, can be assigned through waypoints. The web-based UI also supports teleoperation mode, giving users the ability to command and control vehicles remotely via a cellular connection and virtual joystick. Onboard sensor data from network cameras, lidars and other integrated components can be visualized in real time, Clearpath said.
The API allows developers to expand the capabilities of the software by integrating custom ROS-based applications and GUIs, or by connecting third-party fleet management tools. The OutdoorNav software is compatible with Clearpath’s mobile platforms, including the Jackal UGV, Husky UGV and Warthog UGV, as well as third-party vehicles that feature drive-by-wire control.
The company also announced a new partner program that gives qualifying robotics developers access to discounted OutdoorNav software licenses, robot hardware, sensor kits and support. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 15, 2022, with applicants selected on Dec. 15, 2022.
For more details on the OutdoorNav software, visit the Clearpath Robotics website here.