Accelerometer, Gyroscope and IMU Sensors – Tutorials

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Self balancing or collision detection is just two robotic applications where accelerometers, gyroscopes and IMU’s sensors are used to measure different mechanical phenomenon’s including here acceleration, vibration, tilt, orientation in space, angular velocity, pitch or rotation. A long list of sensors, tutorials and guides are available in this article aiming to give a complete understand and information to work with accelerometer, gyroscope and IMU sensor.

The suite of sensors with different measurements including acceleration, tilt, angular velocity, and other mechanical phenomenons are used in different devices including smartphones, gaming consoles, toys, but especially in robots for self-balancing, motion monitoring, or as a detector for collision or vibration.

If an accelerometer sensor is designed to measure the acceleration and tilt, or the gyroscopic sensor to measure angular velocity and orientation, IMU sensor is a special one designed to combine the features of an accelerometer and gyroscope in order to display complete information about the acceleration, position, orientation, speed, etc. for a robot.

Accelerometer sensor measure acceleration in two different measure units including meters per second squared or when the acceleration felt as weight in G-forces. Inside this tiny sensor is small systems that bend when a momentum or gravity force is applied. The amount of bend has a proportional value in the output signal.
Advantages of the accelerometer sensor include a high accuracy even in applications with noises as well as acceleration measurement down to zero Hertz. The biggest disadvantage of this sensor is the limited high frequency where the sensor works.

Gyroscope sensor is inexpensive and measure in degrees per second or revolutions per second the angular velocity. Is frequently used in robotic applications for balancing to send corrections to motors, or for drones to stabilize the flight. This tiny robotic part uses a disc with a large heavy rim designed to resist movement when is spun on its axis.

IMU or Inertial Measurement Unit sensor is a measurement unit designed to contain the other two types of sensors. An IMU sensor can be used instead an accelerometer or gyro sensor, but first should be set the tolerance for errors. The biggest disadvantage of this sensor is the error in measurement.

All these sensors are tiny and very cheap parts used for a wide range of measurements. The calibration of a sensor is a method aiming to reduce the errors in the sensor outputs while the performance increasing as well as accuracy.

Accelerometer Sensors

List with a wide range of accelerometer sensors and tutorials from interfacing and how to write programming lines to use information from sensors.
Starting with a list of sensors and finishing with a collection of tutorials, in this chapter is available a series of accelerometer sensors as well as tutorials to start learning how to interface an accelerometer sensor and how to add code in order to read information from these.

OSEPP Accelerometer Sensor Module

OSEPP Accelerometer Sensor Module


OSEPP Accelerometer Sensor Module – sensor with 3-axis and high resolution measurement of up to +/- 16 g. The sensor provides measurements in less than 1.0 degrees of inclination.

MMA7260Q – triple-axis accelerometer sensor with three analog output channels and selectable range.

ADXL330 – triple-axis accelerometer sensor and range between -3g to + 3g. Features including a very low noise and a low power consumption.

ADXL335 – one of the most powerful tripled-axis accelerometer sensor from ADXL series capable for measurement range between -3g to + 3g. It has triple-axis MEMS accelerometer with extremely low noise and power consumption. The sensor has a full sensing range of +/-3g.

Memsic 2125 – dual-axis accelerometer sensor with a range between -3g to + 3g designed to measure the acceleration, rotation, tilt, and vibration of a robot.

In the following are available a series of tutorials to interface and write programming lines for accelerometer sensors.

Gyroscope sensors

List with a wide range of gyroscope sensors and tutorials from interfacing and how to programming to display information from the sensor.
Starting with a list of sensors and finishing with a series of tutorials, in this chapter is available a series of gyroscope sensors as well as tutorials and guides to start learning how to interface and how to programming electronic boards to display the information from gyro sensors.

OSEPP Gyroscope Sensor

OSEPP Gyroscope Sensor


OSEPP Gyroscope Sensor – three-axis gyroscope sensor Arduino compatible with a high robustness.

Grove – 3-Axis Gyro – high shock tolerance 3-axis gyroscope sensor for a wide range of applications.

InvenSense ITG-3200 – triple-axis gyroscope sensor with serial interface and digitally-programmable low-pass filter.

LPY530AL – dual-axis gyro sensor with two different analog outputs. High accuracy in measurement of angular velocity or pitch and yaw axes.

L3GD20 – easily configurable with an Arduino board, L3GD20 is a three-axis gyroscope sensor with voltage regulator included.

ITG-3200 – optimized sensor for a wide range of applications including motion-based remote control with measurement on three axes.

IDG300 – dual-axis gyroscope sensor optimized for high performance in industrial applications.

Lego Mindstorms NXT Gyro Sensor – sensor designed to be integrated in Lego NXT applications.

ADXRS613 – very small board with MEMS gyroscope.

Above are available a series of gyroscopic sensors with a wide range of features and designed for integration in many applications especially in robotics. Below is available a collection with tutorials and guides to understand how to interface and programming different gyro sensors with electronic boards.

IMU sensors

List with a wide range of IMU sensors and tutorials from interfacing and programming to use information from sensors.
In this chapter are available a series of IMU sensors as well as tutorials and guides to start learning how to interface and how to add programming lines for electronic boards to display the information from IMU sensors.

AltIMU-10 Gyro, Accelerometer, Compass, and Altimeter

AltIMU-10 Gyro, Accelerometer, Compass, and Altimeter

AltIMU-10 Gyro, Accelerometer, Compass, and Altimeter – inertial measurement unit sensor with up to ten independent measurements for pressure, magnetic, rotation, and acceleration in order to calculate the altitude and orientation of the robot;

IDG500/ADXL335 – IMU board with IDG500 dual-axis gyroscope and ADXL335 accelerometer sensors that provide tilt and pitch measurement on five axes.

Ultra-Thin IMU – board with LPR530AL, LY530ALH and ADXL335 sensors included and six-axes measurement for pitch, roll, or yaw.

ITG3200/ADXL345 – IMU board with ADXL345 accelerometer and ITG-3200 MEMS gyro sensors that provide measurements on six axes.

Ding and Dent – a wide range of measurements for this IMU sensor that include ADXL345 accelerometer, HMC5843 magnetometer, and ITG-3200 gyro sensors while providing measurements for orientation and location for a total of nine degrees of freedom.

From simple to advanced sensors, above is available a list with IMU sensors used in robotics for orientation or location measurements. Below a series of tutorials and guides are written to understand how to setup, interface, and write programming lines to display the measurements of IMU sensors.

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Dragos George Calin
Dragos George Calin is an IT analyst who graduated Faculty of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, specialization Industrial Automation and Informatics with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, Automation and Computer Science. He has a great passion for robots and web development.
5 comments
haribalaji
haribalaji

can you pls help me out to learn basics of accelerometer and to interface it with atmega 8 microcontroller.

Dhvinay
Dhvinay

Hi Sir, Can you mention something about the differences between accelero and gyro sensors and also their interdependence in some cases. How to come up to a decision as to use which one for which application ? Thanks in advance.

Jhon
Jhon

hello.. can you help me brother to know about accelerometer+arduino? do you have a tutorial about it? if you have it, share it for me, please.. thx

Dragos George Calin
Dragos George Calin

Hi, "If an accelerometer sensor is designed to measure the acceleration and tilt, or the gyroscopic sensor to measure angular velocity and orientation, IMU sensor is a special one designed to combine the features of an accelerometer and gyroscope in order to display complete information about the acceleration, position, orientation, speed, etc. for a robot."