Customers have put their trust in OxTS, to enable them to measure with confidence, since 1998. Our long-standing credibility in the inertial navigation space is, in part, due to our continuous operation as an independent company. OxTS’ customers enjoy direct, engineer-to-engineer relationships with our team and partners. Managing the technology roadmap for OxTS is Chief Technology Officer, Thomas Ying. Here, he shares insights into his life at OxTS:
1. How long have you worked at OxTS, and have you experienced many changes during your time with the Company?
I have been with OxTS for just over three years. Over the last 24 months, like other businesses, we have faced the impact of COVID-19. Our teams have responded very well to the challenges. We have invested in key areas so that we can emerge stronger from this difficult period. For example, we have introduced a new generation of inertial navigation systems that are optimised for size, weight and power (SWaP) without compromising performance. We also released our new Generic Aiding Interface and Robot Operating System (ROS) driver which enable our customers to seamlessly integrate our solutions across a wide range of applications. We also worked with strong partners, Horiba Mira and Pozyx, to develop a new ultra-wideband (UWB) indoor positioning solution.
2. Which of the projects you’ve been involved with so far has been the most satisfying and why?
I think the delivery of the new AV200 combined with our sensor fusion technology has been the most satisfying project for me. Designing solutions to support customers who need uncompromising performance across autonomy applications such as mining, ports and logistics, and robotaxis, as well as aerial mobility and drones presented new challenges for our team. We applied our expert knowledge in new ways, learnt and grew in order to deliver the AV200. And we achieved this as the pandemic began and then evolved around us, necessitating lockdowns and many additional mental and physical challenges. It was ambitious to attempt to innovate new technologies at such a time, and I’m proud that we delivered this so successfully.
3. What’s the most challenging thing you’ve tackled for OxTS, and how did you handle it?
At OxTS, we provide navigation solutions that include complex software, firmware and hardware components. I am very pleased that our “Say-Do” ratio (deliver our promises and do what we say we will) has improved considerably over the past 24 months. We responded to the challenging environment and adopted a more Agile approach for our New Product Development (NPD) process. We even managed to deliver some critical projects ahead of schedule despite a shortage of components and our teams had to work remotely most of the time.
4. How would you describe the OxTS team?
Our team members are always up for a challenge. Since I joined OxTS, I have introduced a Technology Watch scheme and a Design Challenge programme. The Technology Watch scheme allows our engineers to keep up with and share trends in exciting technologies. The Design Challenge programme gives our engineers the opportunity to pursue innovative ideas that they are passionate about. As a team, we now have a good track record of incorporating our Design Challenge ideas into new products. The Multi-core IMU technology we developed is a great example. We have excellent engagement from our engineers, and we are now working on four new Design Challenge projects.
5. What are your goals for the next 12 months at OxTS?
Over the next 12 months, we will continue to develop new sensor aiding technologies to ensure we can provide highly accurate and reliable solutions that can operate in GNSS-denied areas. We will also further exploit our Multi-core IMU technology to deliver even more advanced INS products for various markets. In addition, we are also making major investments in staff development and training. We have just launched our first Engineering Progression Path framework. This gives more flexibility, more options, and more support for our engineers in pursuing their goals and career progression.