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Chirp + UWB Fusion for Industrial Applications
Nanotron's swarm bee product family - a common platform for both
"Long range accurate and robust performance of Chirp can be easily combined with the enhanced resolution of UWB at closer ranges." explains Thomas Foerste, Vice President Sales and Marketing at nanotron: "For the first time this enables customers to harness the combined power of both technologies creating entirely new and diverse industrial safety and productivity applications".
Nanotron’s swarm bee LE (Low Energy) module is optimised for radio robustness and up to 1.2km of range at 1m accuracy and a very short 1.8ms air-time ranging cycle. It provides an excellent low-latency platform for collision avoidance systems (CAS), particularly well-suited to managing high-speed vehicles even in congested areas with large numbers of personnel. The swarm bee LE module is complemented by the recently released nanotron swarm bee ER (Enhanced Resolution) module. This device is optimised for enhanced resolution providing an impressive 10cm accuracy even at close range.
In a fork-lift application for instance swarm bee modules are used both on fork-lifts and also inside personnel tags worn by the people. Warnings are trigged before collision conditions develop between vehicles and/or when a person gets too close. "The diverse operating speeds of these machines means there is the requirement for combined long range collision warnings and short range exclusion zones" comments Foerste.
Both products utilize the same swarm API, allowing software engineers to rapidly develop applications then cut and paste for the different technologies. For the first time engineers can easily and rapidly combine Chirp and UWB radio technologies into a single design leveraging the combined benefits of both radio technologies and proving access to a new genre of smart industrial IoT applications.
The new swarm bee ER development kits (DK+) follows the proven software and hardware platform for application development that was pioneered by the Chirp version of the module. The kits comprise of three DK+ boards, swarm PC tools, and a comprehensive data package to facilitate easy and rapid development of location-aware applications. Customers benefit from several swarm tools including the node configuration device (NCD) boosting productivity if large numbers of radio nodes require configuration as part of network maintenance. Additional development boards are purchased separately if customers want to evaluate larger location-aware networks.
Both the swarm bee LE and swarm bee ER modules and the associated DK+ kits are available and shipping in volume now.
About the swarm product family
Swarm bee modules are available with Chirp or UWB radio technology. Both versions are sharing the common swarm API. The swarm product family targets the growing market for autonomous smart items and cuts time to market for location-aware products by 12 months. Very precise low-cost location technology can now be used without the need for RF-design capabilities or expertise on low level device drivers. Developers focus on application design.
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