Piksi GPS with centimeter accuracy hits Kickstarter

piksiThe GPS in your smartphone sure is a handy piece of equipment, but it’s not always all that accurate. The Piksi RTK GPS, on the other hand, can pinpoint locations within one centimeter — and it costs less than $1000.

That might seem expensive at first glance, but RTK GPS setups typically sell for a heck of a lot more (like 6-10 times that much). The high-precision chips are most commonly found in top notch surveying equipment, and the folks that require those devices are quite willing to pay for their unmatched accuracy.

San Francisco’s Swift Navigation wants more people to be able to harness the power of RTK GPS, however. A Kickstarter pledge of just $900 scores you a complete Piksi package — putting it within reach for many backyard inventors and DIY tinkers.

The GPS tech inside Piksi obviously isn’t cheap enough to put inside phones right now, but RTK GPS wouldn’t really work in our phones anyway. A minimum of two RTK units is required — a mobile unit, which would be affixed to something like a UAV or robot and a stationary “reference receiver.” Swift’s bundle includes two Digi International XBee radios to let the pair of Piksis communicate with each other.

So while it’s not a viable option for our mobile electronics yet, the Piksi is an excellent fit for things like surveillance drones, rescue robots, or self-driving cars.

If you’ve got a million-dollar idea that requires ultra-precise location tracking, picking up a Piksi to add to your prototype would be money well spent.

[Source: Lee Matthews @ Geek.Com]

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