Xsens Provides Open-Source API for Embedded Development Platforms

Published: 28 Feb 2019

Xsens MT Software Suite 2019

Xsens, a developer of 3D motion tracking technology for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and robotics, has announced that it has released MT Software Suite 2019, which provides for the first time an open-source applications programming interface (API) to enable users to develop applications to run on many embedded computing platforms.

The new suite is a fully upgraded version of the existing software package for Xsens’ MTi-series of industrial motion trackers. An updated graphical user interface (GUI) for the MT Software Development Kit has a fresh look and feel, and improved signposting of functions.

The new open-source API, called XDA (Xsens Device API), is intended for use on any computing platform that runs a Windows or Linux operating system. Many developers will continue to create applications to run on a PC or laptop, but increasing numbers are developing prototypes and even finished products on third-party embedded computing platforms such as Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard or ODROID.

The new open-source XDA in MT Software Suite 2019 gives developers access to the code for the first time to enable them to compile it for these platforms, for other third-party boards, or for proprietary embedded computing platforms. They can also modify or extend the XDA to support the particular requirements of their development project.

The new open XDA also greatly facilitates debugging and application problem-solving, because users can now see in detail the message flow between an MTi-series module and the host application.

Hein Beute, Director Product Marketing at Xsens, said: “MT Software Suite 2019 is an important upgrade to the developer toolkit that Xsens provides to users of MTi-series motion trackers, because they can now use any one of hundreds of commercial hardware development platforms that support the Windows or Linux environments. There are also enhancements to the user experience and extended message support, giving developers the best ever suite of software tools and features for working with Xsens motion tracking modules.”

In the MT Software Suite 2019 release, Xsens has also made numerous other enhancements, including:

  • Extended NMEA message support, helping developers integrate an MTi module more easily with third-party equipment
  • A uniform set of application examples across all supported programming languages, for greater consistency of user experience
  • An upgraded Magnetic Field Mapping function which makes it easier for the end user to perform a calibration routine for any MTi module

The MT Software Suite 2019 is now available for download from www.xsens.com. It supports all current MTi-series products. Xsens is also providing updated firmware for all MTi modules, compatible with the new MT Software Suite 2019.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.

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