At the University of Central Florida’s Robotics Laboratory, undergraduate and graduate students with a passion for robotics work together to build advanced autonomous robots for competition and research. The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team was faced with the challenge of creating a winning UAV for national competition that could face extreme environmental factors.
After exploring several other digital compasses, the team decided the Sparton digital compass was perfectly suited to their needs for numerous reasons. First, there was an entire suite of sensors in this small, rugged module. Having inertial, environmental, analog and digital I/O capabilities in one package eliminated the need for excessive wiring, bulky connectors, and waterproofing headaches that are common when piecing together a navigation system on a component-by-component basis. The ability to choose from two different mounting configurations was also key, as they soon discovered the compass even worked upside down. Most importantly, the compass stood up to all inclement weather conditions, including intense sunlight, considerable temperature fluctuations, frequent water spills, vibrations and pressure changes.
The Sparton digital compass performed above and beyond the challenges presented and became the main navigation instrument of choice for the team.