FAQ

System capabilities

Yes, of course!

Here are a few examples:

The main requirement for the 3D tracking is a direct line of sight/hearing between the mobile beacon and 3 or more stationary beacons within 30 meters.

Yes, the Paired Beacon feature is supported in both IA and NIA:

In general, we strongly recommend against using magnetometers indoors. There are nearly always magnetic materials (iron, alloys) around or wires with current that would heavily distort the Earth magnetic field and ruin the magnetometer readings.

Yes, the Paired Beacon feature is supported in both IA and NIA:

We are using Omni-Microphones connected to Super-Beacons in our own robots and it is a recommended solution for your robots as well:

Obviously, Omni-Microphones can work with IA only, because mobile beacons are receiving ultrasound, whereas mobile beacons transmit ultrasound in NIA

Please, start with this article: How to increase accuracy of precise indoor positioning system.

Yes, it is possible by using using the Real-Time Player (RTP) with more filtering. You can quite easily get sub-cm. However, the latency will increase as well. For example, instead of regular latency of 1/8 sec for the 8Hz update rate, you shall expect 5-16 x 1/8 sec ~1-2 sec latency, which depends on the level of filtering selected in the RTP. Examples:

First of all, it is important to distinguish between the distance limitations due to ultrasonic and the distance limitations due to radio.

Using submaps of up to 30m each – due ultrasonic distance limitation, the maps can be up to 1km (500m in each direction from the modem) with full-size antennas and open space with little or no radio interference.

Beacons measure distances using ultrasonic pulses. Thus, ultrasonic line of hearing/line of sight is a must inside a submap. Between submaps – not necessarily. It depends on the map. The regular recommended maximum distance between beacons in one submap is up to 30m. But you can have multiple submaps and build large maps of a few hundred meters in length and tens of thousands squire meters space.

With Marvelmind Horn in 1D, it is possible to have up to 120m maximum ultrasonic distance on one submap – it is a great option for tunnels or surveying, for example.

The modem communicates with beacons using radio in a license-free band (433MHz or 868MHz or 915MHz, depending on your beacon’s/modem’s hardware). Line of sight is not required for radio communication. The maximum distance depends mostly on the antennas:

  • For embedded antennas – up to ~50-100m or less
  • For the default 50mm antennas – 100m+
  • For the full-size antenna – up to 400m+

All distances are give for the open space and antennas are parallel to each other.

The maximum distance in radio through walls completely depends on the type of the walls and can be significantly shorter than the figures above. For example, it may be rather difficult to cover even several floors. But walls on the same floor can be less of a problem, because, they are often thinner and radio transparent, particularly in the office environment. The walls are typically thicker and produce more attenuation in industrial or warehouse environments.

Yes, nearly all Marvelmind beacons have IMU onboard. Only Beacons HW v4.9 are without IMU. Beacons HW v4.9 are mostly used as stationary beacons in NIA and don’t need IMU.

No, of course, it doesn’t rely on real GPS, because GPS doesn’t work indoor, because there is no visibility to the satellites, and because real GPS gives usually 5-10 m accuracy while our Indoor “GPS” gives ±2cm.

However, Marvelmind Indoor “GPS” or Marvelmind Indoor Positioning System or Marvelmind RTLS – whatever name you prefer – is very much like GPS for the end-users and this why:

  • The system streams out location data in NMEA0183 – native GPS format. So, you just need to physically connect to your robot, drone or the system that is GPS-enabled and that has external GPS input and your robot/drone/system is already integrated with Marvelmind Indoor “GPS”. That is it. Everything is done. Your robot will believe that it is GPS connected, but to a marvelous GPS that works indoor and gives ±2cm precision instead of usual 5-10m
  • Like GPS, the system requires line of sight of your mobile beacon (“the GPS terminal”) to the stationary beacons (“the GPS satellites”). The GPS needs at least 4 satellites. We ask 1 stationary for 1D tracking; 2 stationary beacons for 2D tracking; 3 stationary beacons for 3D tracking. And we always recommend redundancy for more resilience against obstructions – N+1 or 2N configurations of stationary beacons.

There is architectural difference between working indoor and outdoor. Yes, it does work outdoor as well as indoor.

See Outdoor local position system article for more detail.

Outdoor versions of beacons and modems are typically more ingress protected up to IP67 level: 

See outdoor usage examples:

How to choose

We have three main architectures:

  1. Inverse Architecture (IA)
  2. Non-Inverse Architecture (NIA)
  3. Multi-Frequency MF NIA

See architectures comparison video.

1) IA is most of all suitable when you have multiple (~ >5 mobile objects) and when the location update rate is important. Also, IA should be your choice when you want to have mobile beacons noiseless, because regular ultrasonic transmitting beacons “tick”. You cannot hear the ultrasonic, but you can hear a quiet tick.

See examples:

2) NIA is designed when you have noisy mobile objects, but a few of them, for example, 1-2 inspection drones in a warehouse. Another great benefit of NIA is that it is very simple to deploy – significantly simpler than IA, particularly, for larger maps consisting of many submaps. Thus, if you are just starting with Marvelmind, you may choose NIA at the beginning, but it totally depends on your use case. For small maps of 1-3 submaps IA and NIA are equally simple. Typical demos:

3) MF NIA combines the best from IA and NIA. You can have up to 5 times higher update rate for noisy objects than in NIA. Typical demo:

Find out more about the architectures in the Architectures Comparison.

We have 2 hardware variants for some products:

  1. 915/868MHz
  2. 433MHz

Please, always check your local regulator as the best source of information. Ask about license-free bands or ISM bands or SRD bands.

We have significantly more products in the 915/868MHz variant than in the 433MHz band. For example, Mini-RX, Super-Beacons, Industrial beacons/modem and their derivatives (Helmets, Jackets, etc.) are currently available in 915/868MHz only. So, if you can choose between 915/868MHz and 433MHz, we recommend choosing 915/868MHz.

Notice, that 433MHz or 868MHz or 915MHz is a band name – not a frequency. For example, Marvelmind HW supporting 915/868MHz band supports frequencies ~860-930MHz. It means, for example, that for Japan we recommend the 915/868MHz HW, but the real frequencies that will be used are 920.5-923.5MHz.

Some seed links for self-study:

Recommendations for some countries based on our knowledge:

  • Australia: 915MHz (SRD) or 433MHz (ISM)
  • Brazil and South America: 915MHz
  • Canada: 915MHz (ISM)
  • China Mainland: 433MHz
  • EU: 868MHz (SRD) or 433MHz (ISM)
  • India: 868MHz
  • Indonesia: 915MHz
  • Japan: 915MHz
  • Korea: 915MHz
  • Russia: 868MHz (SRD) or 433MHz (ISM)
  • Singapore: 915MHz
  • Taiwan: 915MHz
  • Turkey: 868MHz (SRD) or 433MHz (ISM)
  • UAE: 868MHz (SRD) or 433MHz (ISM)
  • UK: 868MHz (SRD) or 433MHz (ISM)
  • US: 915MHz (ISM)
  • Vietnam: 915MHz


Notice that regulations change and evolve over time. Thus, check the latest regulation in your country.

 

Software

  • Go to Downloads page
  • Download the latest SW pack. It contains all Marvelmind Indoor “GPS” SW, including the Marvelmind Dashboard

  • Unzip and install the Dashboard from the archive

Interfaces and integration

Yes, we support all three. Please see Downloads page.

For more information, check the Drones page.

Yes, you can easily use your own GUI and integrate Marvelmind Indoor “GPS” into your system. We have API for both Windows and Linux. Download them here.

Ordering

Yes, it can be done easily:

  • Send us an email at info@marvelmind.com and describe your needs and requirements. If you have selected your products or sets, share the links from our Product page and list the desired quantities
  • Share your contact name, company name (if any), contact phone number and other details that you wish we mention in the invoice, for example, VAT number, project name, etc.
  • We issue the invoice on the same working day
  • You pay via bank transfer (in USD, EUR or GBP)
  • We wait for the payment to arrive (typical seconds for IBAN transfer to 1-2 days for SWIFT transfer) and the we ship

If anything is unclear, contact us via info@marvelmind.com