Off the grid: Dr Jianguo Jack Wang awarded Michael Richey Medal for his paper describing a new navigation method
The award, voted by almost 100 academic and technical experts, was presented by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Institute of Navigation's Annual General Meeting at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 15 July.
Dr Wang earned the award for his paper, co-written with research student Yan Li, titled ‘A Pedestrian Navigation System Based on Low Cost IMU’, which presents an algorithm for robust pedestrian navigation that can be used in areas where GPS (Global Positioning System) is unavailable. The system can navigate a person or robot without being connected to a GPS, wireless or other network using a shoe-mounted ‘Inertial Measurement Unit’ (IMU), an electronic device that detects acceleration and rotation.
Previous research in this area focussed on navigation for walking with the “zero velocity update” algorithm, whereas Wang has proposed a set of new algorithms based on “constant velocity update” and “closed-loop step-wise smoothing”. This allows the system to navigate during higher speed activities such as running, climbing stairs and on moving platforms such as elevators or escalators.
Dr Wang said the technology could be used in disaster areas, combat zones, mines or indoor areas where navigation is challenging and where there is no GPS signal available. One example of the IMU’s application would be to assist a fire fighter on a fire front. It can also be used for monitoring pedestrian motion status, for robot navigation and many other applications in combination with other technologies as detailed in the award-winning paper.
Wang is a lecturer at UTS in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Autonomous Systems. He has published over 50 papers covering multiple disciplines including research in sensor fusion, robotics and intelligent systems.
The Medal awarded to Dr Wang is named after Michael Richey who founded The Journal of Navigation sixty-seven years ago and has been influential in the advancement of navigation science.
Dr Wang’s paper can be accessed at the Cambridge University Press website.