Evolution Robotics Introduces NorthStar for Intelligent Navigation

10/6/2004 - Evolution Robotics, a leading provider of next-generation robotics technologies and component solutions, introduced NorthStar(tm), a new, low-cost, hardware and software localization solution that enables mobile devices to navigate more intelligently in indoor environments.

Similar to global positioning systems (GPS), the NorthStar system measures a device's exact coordinates and heading using harmless and invisible IR light spots projected onto the ceiling of its environment. By triangulation, the NorthStar system can instantly determine the device's exact position and heading with very high accuracy. Unlike GPS however, NorthStar works indoors, is more precise, and provides instantaneous and absolute course information.

NorthStar is the newest addition to the Evolution Robotics line of technologies which includes vSLAM(tm), a software and camera-sensor solution based on the company's visual pattern recognition technology (ViPR(tm)). The NorthStar system brings advanced localization performance at costs suitable for the consumer products industry.

"Expanding our product portfolio with NorthStar provides our customers with the ability to add positional awareness to their products at costs manageable for low-margin, high-volume manufacturing," said Joe Brown, Vice President of Robotic Systems at Evolution Robotics. "Between NorthStar and vSLAM, manufacturers have the flexibility to choose which navigation solution best fits their needs. NorthStar further demonstrates Evolution Robotics' superior level of expertise in the field of robotic navigation and dedication to helping companies bring intelligent devices to market. We believe this product will not only bring a higher level of intelligence and functionality to autonomous mobile products like floor care robots, but will also enable the emergence of entirely new categories of position-aware products."

NorthStar is designed for incorporation into a wide variety of products. The detector is small, and the simple LED-based IR projector can be implemented in a wide range of designs supporting a product's particular look, feel, and function. NorthStar technology is also useful for industrial applications and can be applied to large-scale indoor environments such as department stores, factories and shopping malls.

"NorthStar provides a very elegant solution to an essential and longstanding problem of localization in robotics," said Paolo Pirjanian, Chief Scientist at Evolution Robotics. "This technology marks a major milestone for robotics in general and consumer products in particular. We believe that the advent of this technology will spur the creation of new markets in robotics which were not possible before."

NorthStar will be available for ordering in quantity by the end of this year. For more information please visit www.evolution.com.

About Evolution Robotics
Evolution Robotics(tm) (www.evolution.com) develops state-of-the-art robotics solutions, and partners with original equipment manufacturers to integrate those technologies into new and more intelligent products. The company's product line includes software, hardware and component solutions centered around their core technologies in computer vision and autonomous navigation. Its ERSP(tm) software development platform provides core infrastructure, computer vision, navigation and path planning, and human-robot interaction modules. These can be licensed individually or as a Software Development Kit. The NorthStar(tm) system is a low-cost localization solution that enables electronic devices to navigate more accurately in indoor environments. The company also markets LaneHawk(tm) a loss-prevention solution for retailers that reduces inventory shrinkage by automatically ringing up under-cart items. With its award-winning team of engineers, Evolution Robotics offers expertise and guidance to help its partners produce better products at competitive prices. Its mission is to accelerate the creation of a variety of highly functional robotics products across a broad range of industries. Evolution Robotics is an operating company of Idealab, a creator and operator of technology businesses.

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