Abstract

This paper aims to aid robot and autonomous vehicle designers by providing a comparison between four different inertial measurement units (IMUs) which could be used to aid in vehicle navigation in a GPS-denied or inertial-only scenario. A differential-drive ground vehicle was designed to carry the multiple different IMUs, mounted coaxially, to enable direct comparison of performance in a planar environment. The experiments focused on the growth of pose error of the ground vehicle originating from the odometry senors and the IMUs. An extended Kalman Filter was developed to fuse the odometry and inertial measurements for this comparison. The four specific IMUs evaluated were: CNS 5000, Xsens 300, Microstrain GX5-35, and Phidgets 1044 and the ground truth for experiments was provided by an Optitrack motion capture system (MCS). Finally, metrics for choosing IMUs, merging cost and performance considerations, are proposed and discussed. While the CNS 5000 has the best objective error specifications, based on these metrics the Xsens 300 exhibits the best absolute performance while the Phidgets 1044 provides the best performance-per-dollar.

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