u-blox Announces Firmware Update for ZED-F9R Positioning Module

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

June 21, 2021


u-blox Announces Firmware Update for ZED-F9R Positioning Module

u-blox released a firmware update for its ZED-F9R positioning module, designed to provide robust centimeter-level positioning to slow moving use cases such as robotic lawnmowers, e-scooters, and shared bicycles.

Based on the ZED-F9R high-precision sensor-fusion module, the u-blox ZED-F9R-02B is designed for use in autonomous and industrial applications where access to accurate positioning data is key, even in challenging signal environments such as dense cities.

The ZED-F9R uses the u-blox F9 multi-band global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver platform to concurrently track up to four GNSS constellations. Applying real-time kinematic (RTK) techniques, the module can derive positioning data with centimeter-level accuracy. The high-precision GNSS measurements are fused with data from the module's inertial measurement unit (IMU), GNSS correction data, odometry information, and a vehicle dynamics model to provide positioning accuracy in situations where GNSS alone would fail. The receiver includes dynamic models for robotic lawnmowers, e-scooters, and automobiles.

The ZED-F9R-02B integrates the u-blox GNSS correction data service, broadcast in the state-space representation (SSR) format, making it suitable to deliver precise positioning solutions.

According to the company, robotic lawnmowers can achieve further improvements in terms of their positioning accuracy due to the module's ability to calibrate its dead reckoning system, even at low speeds. The module's position output lets end users delimit the mowing area using software rather than with boundary wires and deploy robotic lawnmowers on complex lawn shapes while excluding trees and shrubs.

The combination of these features is designed to allow product designers to use the module to create mowing equipment that enables "robotic mowing as a service" capable of operating in complex environments without the upfront cost and commitment of installing boundary wires.

The ZED-F9R-02B offers support for a range of correction services, including the SPARTN format, designed to enable the distribution of GNSS correction data over large geographical areas.

For more information, visit: https://www.u-blox.com/en/product/zed-f9r-module

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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