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We design, manufacture and sell robots and robotic systems.
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Buy now for 299 USD

Order Starter Set
directly via PayPal
for 299 USD now
(+ shipping fee)

Buy now for 299 USD

Or buy via distributor

Operating manual Buy now for 349 USD

Business proposition beacon - close viewbeacon - close viewbeacon - close view
Boxed beacon - close viewBoxed beacons - close viewBoxed beacon - close view
Business proposition

Selected customers

selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients selected clients

Video demo

- Demo: Precise Indoor "GPS" - tracking a mobile beacon in a small room in real time

- Demo: Two mobile beacons ("hedghogs") simultaniously - v02 - Walking in the room with 4 stationary beacons on the walls and two mobile beacons in the hands. 3-5 meters between the beacons

- Demo: Two mobile beacons ("hedghogs") in hands - v01 - Walking in the room with 4 stationary beacons on the walls and two mobile beacons in hands.

- Demo: walking with mobile beacon - v02 - Walking in the room with stationary 4 beacons on the walls and mobile beacon in the hand. Distances between beacons - 3-5 meters.

- Demo: Walking with mobile beacon - v01 - Walking in the room with stationary 4 beacons on the walls and mobile beacon in the hand. Distances between beacons - 3-5 meters.

- Indoor "GPS" - medium scale demo - Moving beacon is traced by 11 stationary beacons forming an indoor navigation system ("indoor GPS") - "shopping mall variant". Stationary beacons are arranged in clusters that are semi-automatically assembled by the system in a single map.

- Indoor "GPS" - short demo - Moving beacon is traced by 4 stationary beacons forming a navigation system ("indoor GPS") - single room variant

Customers demo
- Mobile beacon installed on copter: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.


Configure your own Indoor Navigation System and buy via PayPal:

Indoor Navigation System - starter set 
299 USD
49 USD
49 USD
Indoor Navigation System - boxed set 
349 USD
Boxed beacon 
59 USD
Boxed modem 
59 USD
Shipping & handling fee 
50 USD
Check out 

Bank transfer as well as credit cards payments are accepted too.

Shipping & delivery

- Shipping is done via EMS.
- Usual delivery time to the US and Europe is 5-7 days.
- The same or next day shipping.


It is recommended to use the latest available SW.

To update the SW in your devices:
- Download the SW to your hard drive
- Connect beacon or modem via USB to your computer
- Run the Dashboard => Firmware => Choose the file => Program
- After programming press the HW reset button on modem/beacon
- Double-check in the Dashboard that the modem/beacons contains now the expected version of the SW

Some new SW versions bring very substantial changes to the internal protocols and become incompatible with previous SW version. Thus, always keep the same SW versions on all beacons. Also use only compatible versions of the modem and the Dashboard SW, since they come in a package (beacon SW + modem SW + Dashboard SW) and all shall support the same protocols.

Double-check that the beacon's address is the same after SW updating. Major changes in SW versions may lead to the device's address to be overwritten. If happened, use the Dashboard to assign the required address to the beacon again.

STM driver - required to connect beacons/modems to the Dashboard via USB. It is installed only once on your Windows PC.

Latest stable SW to download

Updated on 17.Nov.2015

- Beacon SW - v4.27
- Modem/router SW - v4.27
- The Dashboard SW - v3.91

What is new:
- Various bug fixing
- Further usability improvements

Updated on 02.Oct.2015

- Beacon SW - v3.99
- Modem/router SW - v3.99
- The Dashboard SW - v3.67

What is new:
- Advanced power saving modes
- Various bug fixing
- General usability improvements

Important! Some earlier HW versions do not support all power saving modes. Use "Analog power in sleep" enabled first. It will increase power consumption by 5-8mA in active mode. If you happen to have a newer HW version, disable analog power in sleep. If system continues working normally - use it. It saves battery.

Default mode - "disabled", i.e. if your HW does not support it, the system won't work stable.

Updated on 20.Aug.2015

Important! Please, use addresses for beacons in the range of 2..63. There were reports that addresses 64..99 don't always work well with SW v3.73. This bug has been fixed in the later versions.

- Beacon SW - v3.73
- Modem/router SW - v3.75
- The Dashboard SW - v3.45

Mobile beacon ("hedge") interfacing protocol to robots

1) Via virtual UART via USB:

This is the easiest way to connect since no soldering is required and protocol is the same for different operating systems.

- USB protocol for mobile beacon - description of the USB protocol between mobile beacon ("hedgehog") and a host device for Windows and Linux.

2) Integration with Raspberry Pi via virtual UART via USB in Python:

- Here is the Python code for Raspberry Pi (potentially, with any Linux) integration via virtual UART via USB
- Code is fairly universal; at least, it worked on Mac (OS X 10.10) too
- Python v2.7
- CRC calculation is done in "pythonic way", i.e. library crcmod is used. Comments on usage of the library are inside the code
- There are handlers of different exceptions, for example, Ctrl+C, non-standard states of COM/USB

Credits: the Python script provides interface for a mobile beacon attached to the robot built by openBerlin innovation center team. Written by Boris Zinin ( This code is free to use in your applications (please include a reference link to this web page or original author's e-mail).

Note! The code has not been verified by Marvelmind Robotics team. Use on your own risk.

3) Connection of Marvelmind hedgehog to Arduino via UART and SPI:

- The detailed description of connection to Arduino shield via UART and SPI is described in the link and the Operating Manual.

- Beacon SW v4.01
- Arduino sample code - UART
- Arduino sample code - SPI


We do currently provide extensive support to our customers via email. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Just drop us an email on:

Operating manual

Before starting working with the system, please, check the operating manual. It will guide you through all aspects of working with the system, setting it up and tuning for the best performance.

Starting in

- Check that power switch is in the right position. When the board is charged and switch is on, the LED on the board is blinking every a few seconds. See demo video for more details.
- Make sure that the map of beacons is frozen in the Dashboard before starting using the mobile beacon. - Also make sure that the mobile beacon is in "hedgehog" mode - mobile beacon mode - not in the stationary beacon mode - Check that correct SW versions are installed on the beacons, routers, hedgehog, dashboards. It is recommended to download the latest version from Download SW.
- One can check the SW version of any device by connecting it to the dashboard via USB. If already connected via radio interface, the SW version is also visible, if the device is awake.


- Charging is done automatically when device is connected to USB. It takes 1-2h to fully charge the battery.

Other help

- Notice a tiny side-looking reset button on the boards. Use it, if you are stuck.
- Any beacon being attached to the computer via USB and connected to dashboard, becomes a router, if router's SW is downloaded into it. Pay attention that only one router shall be connected to the dashboard at any time.
- Beacons go asleep automatically, if not visible via radio interface to modem/router for more than 1 min. They can be woken up.


Question: What is the exact procedure for getting the beacons online? e.g. do they need to be plugged in or will they wake up as long as the batteries are sufficiently charged?
Answer: Here is the a 2-min video.
Additionally: If router/modem is visible in the dashboard already (always address 0), wake up the needed beacon by double-clicking on the button with its number in the lower part of the dashboard. After a 2-8 seconds the device will wakeup. It is possible to wake up all available devices at once by CTRL+"wake up"

Question: When a beacon is plugged in via the USB port, does it recharge the battery?
Answer: Yes. Charging is fully automatic. It takes 1-2h to fully charge the beacon.

Question: What does the flashing red LED mean on the beacons? Some of the beacons are flashing the light and some aren't.
Answer: Flashing red (about 1-16 Hz) LED is OK - it means that the beacon works. If the beacon goes 2 sec continuous light after reset and then goes dark - its battery needs to be charged. If flashing every 10 seconds or so - the beacon is in the sleep mode. If no flashing at all - the device is not charged.

Question: Does each beacon need to be able to see all other beacons, or just 3 or so?
Answer: No need to see all of them. Each beacon must see at least 3 other beacons when the map is forming to complete the formation. For the complex formations with several clusters of beacons, there is specially procedure for the network deployment.

Question: Can the beacons be set so that they never sleep?
Answer: Yes. If one doesn't send the system into sleep, the beacons will be awake all the time.

Question: Can you provide a sample of the data that the hedgehog would print to the UART interface?
Answer: Thus, we provide four stationary beacons in the starter set. The system all the time chooses the best three beacons among available combinations of 3 beacons. If many combinations available (5-10 beacons visible), it is even combining the data from several sets of three beacons to get the best data.

If a person blocks one of the beacons, the system simply switches to the remaining available beacons. It is done every 1/16 sec, so unnoticeable.

If even more beacons are blocked and only two are visible to the robot, it will produce erroneous coordinates.
We can do filtering on our side and there is such an option available in the Dashboard, but usually robots have their own inertial system (accelerators, gyros) and they can make the correlation and decision that the last data was wrong and neglect it. Thus, we don't interfere with that decision by default.

Question: Can the beacons be set so that they never sleep?
Answer: Yes. If one doesn't send the system into sleep, the beacons will be awake all the time.

Question: Can you provide a sample of the data that the hedgehog would print to the UART interface?
Answer: Here is the link.

Question: Once the system is setup, does the PC need to stay connected?
Answer: Nope. The PC is needed only to setup the system, to control it and to monitor, etc. It is not needed to operate the system. No computation is done on PC. No data is stored on PC that is needed the system to function.

You only need to make sure that the modem/router gets uninterrupted power supply, when PC is disconnected, since the router is a central controller of the system. The recommended way is to connect PC to the modem via the active USB hub that stays powered after the PC is disconnected.

Question: Which ultrasonic transceiver is sensor 1, 2, 3, 4 at the beacon?
Answer: Here is the photo

Question: How should be oriented the beacon on the wall (USB connector bottom?)
Answer: Yes, usually, we place the beacons on the wall: one sensors emits forward, left and right sensors emit left and right and one emits down-straight. USB is on the bottom in this position.

If preferred, put the beacons on the ceiling. It works pretty well too.

Question: What is the minimal distance in square arrangement?
Answer: Minimal distance between beacons/modem is ~1-1.5m, otherwise the radio can be overloaded. Check the RSSI level for each beacon. It must not be more than -22..-20dBm. If it is near that limit, increase the distance between beacons/modem.

If you still need to place the beacons close, you can try to reduce the TX power for each beacons in the menu. But be very careful with these advanced settings, because, if settings are wrong, you can lose the radio connection with the beacon and won't be able to change settings at all until the beacon is very close to the modem or even connected to the PC via USB. In the extreme case, we recommend to re-program the board completely.

Question: In which height should be sensor mounted, default software value is 1.85m, should I modify this value according to real position?
Answer: Yes, you should put your real height to have precise data. If you don't put the height, but all beacons are on the same height, it will also work well and the map will form automatically, but the height (digits next to the symbol of the mobile beacon) will be measured wrongly.


Marvelmind Inc.

1111 W El Camino Real #109-365
Sunnyvale CA 94087

+1 (650) 843-9243

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