Makerfabs Arduino-Compatible ESP32 UWB Module Takes Aim at Accurate Indoor Positioning
Offering a claimed four-inch accuracy, these compact development boards arrive ready to program in the Arduino IDE.
Shenzhen-based Makerfabs has launched an ultra-wideband (USB) indoor positioning board, built around the Decawave DW100 and an ESP32 — and offering, the company claims, precision tracking capabilities.
"Makerfabs ESP32 UWB module is based on [the Decawave] DW1000," the company explains. "It acts like a continuously scanning radar, that precisely locks onto another device (called Anchor) and communicates with it, thus calculating its own location."
"Once the device is near another UWB device, the devices start 'ranging.' Ranging refers to calculating the time of flight (ToF) between devices: The round-trip time of challenge/response packets."
The compact board is host to two key modules. The first is an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller module, which includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity; the second is the Decawave DW1000, a single-chip wireless ultra-wideband transceiver which promises positioning accuracy down to 10cm (around 4").
The board is programmed using a DW1000 Arduino library developed by Thomas Trojer, with a minor modification, while code examples are provided for turning one board into an Anchor and any other boards into tracking tags which will report both their distance from the Anchor board and the received signal power.
The board is now available on the Makerfabs Tindie store at $39.80 for units built around the ESP32-WROOM module or an additional $2 to switch to the ESP32-WROVER; source code and design files are available on the company's GitHub repository under an unspecified license.