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Russian scientists plan to create boots with satellite-free navigation system

August 29, 12:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The system’s sensors track the traveled path by measuring accelerations which a pedestrian undertakes while moving

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. Researchers from the Siberian Federal University (SFU) together with colleagues from National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed a pedestrian navigation system which can determine the coordinates of a user in dense urban environment, thick forests, and even underground, the SFU press office said. According to the vendors, new chips might be attached, for instance, to ordinary boots.

"The system does not require satellites and hence it allots the coordinates of a location even under conditions where the use of satellite systems like GLONASS or GPS is not possible," the press office statement reads.

The newly-developed system is an inertial one, which means it does not rely on external reference points of signals. The system’s sensors track the traveled path by measuring accelerations which a pedestrian undertakes while moving. By knowing the initial point of the route, the system determines a user’s traveled distance and location based on the information from the sensor data, the creator of this innovation, Pavel Marinushkin, Ph.D. in Technical Sciences, and research assistant at the Department of Instrument Engineering and Nanoelectronics of Institute of Engineering Physics of SFU said.

The system is especially compact. The measuring block with integrated sensors can be carried on foot, by hand, bosom, and even on one’s back, belt, or head. The scientists believe that the most reasonable choice is to attach the sensors to the sole of shoes.

In order to check how the system functions, the researchers performed test runs. The user made a closed loop path, while the error of determining located has not exceeded 2.5%.

The initiators of this innovation presume that their pet project might be employed as personal navigation devices for military and civilian use for rescue, communal, and repair services, special operations units, security and transportation agencies, as well as for geologists, fire-fighters and so forth. Additionally, these personal navigation systems might be of particular interest for vision-impaired and blind individuals indoors and outdoors.

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