Saturday, August 10, 2013

Piksi High Precision GPS offers centimeter accuracy on Kickstarter

The GPS system is a technical marvel. Having begun as a way for the military to accurately track where in the globe they were, it has since made its way into our daily lives and... our pockets. Our smartphones use it to help us find nearby places, or even tell us where they are should they be lost or stolen. However, civilian applications can use its full precision, and our GPS receivers usually have an accuracy of 5-10 meters - good enough to get you from point A to point B... but not good enough if you're trying to make your autonomous flying robot follow a path between obstacles just 1 meter apart. Enter Piksi, a Kickstarter project that offers much higher precision, allowing for centimeter accuracy.

Although there are high-precision GPS receivers available, they usually cost ten times as much as this Piksi (which itself isn't that cheap, at $900). Besides the high precision, Piksi also gives location information 50 times per second - well more useful than the usual one per second of regular receivers.

The project was already surpassed its objective - which shows just how much there are people interested in this kind of technology - and hopefully it will find its way into backers' hands without delays.

For me, I just hope that someday, our smartphones will be able to pinpoint our location with identical accuracy! :)

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