u‑blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, today announced that its NEO‑M8P high precision RTK GNSS module is featured in HEX Taiwan’s new drone navigation kit: Here+. HEX is the world’s leading open source hardware manufacturer which produces one of the best open source drone autopilots in the world.
The Here+ RTK GNSS kit is supported by Ardupilot out of the box. It consists of a round rover designed to be mounted on the drone and is connected to the flight controller using the supplied 8‑pin CLIK‑Mate™ connector (for the autopilot Pixhawk2) or an optional 4pin+6pin DF13 connector (for the Pixhawk1). The base station with its smaller GNSS receiver and an external antenna complete the equipment. Embedded in Here+ is the u‑blox NEO‑M8P module series. It is the smallest, lightest and most energy‑efficient high precision GNSS Real Time Kinematics (RTK) module available on the market, bringing centimeter‑level positioning accuracy to the mass market. It is also a complete and versatile solution thanks to its base and rover variants.
According to Goldman Sachs, the drone market should surge to a $100 billion market by 2020, as demand for commercial drones is on the rise. At the same time, there is a clear demand for accurate positioning and navigation at an affordable cost level. HEX’s goal is therefore to promote open source drone technology to a larger community and assist drone companies with affordable accessories. Thanks to Here+, these needs are now met and the navigation kit can be used in a wealth of applications, such as agricultural drone, powerline inspection, precision farming, logistics, or 3D mapping, etc.
Gene Wu, Managing Director of HEX explains: “Here+ is the result of our collaboration with Ardupilot, and will contribute to bringing the open source drone industry to the next level. We chose u‑blox because its GNSS technology is one of the best on the market. It is an affordable RTK GPS/GNSS solution for drone navigation without compromising on performance. We hope to continue our collaboration for future projects, first and foremost for the second version of Here+ later this year.”
“The NEO‑M8P brings high precision technology to the mass market and it is exciting for u‑blox to see our technology operate in applications, such as the open source drone industry, that would otherwise be unable to integrate high precision technologies in their designs,” said Jessie Liao, Business Development Manager at u‑blox Taiwan.