05) Getting to know the motion sensor: accelerometer and gyroscope

Interaction with digital technologies is not only about keyboards and touch screens. We can also use movement as an input device. When we are playing with micro-controllers, we are able to attach sensors which can detect movement, which we then can transform into signals for our devices. The sensor we are using for this workshop is called motion sensor (you can read more about it on Sparkfun website). This sensor has an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a compass.

In this workshop, we are going to play with the accelerometer and the gyroscope. The accelerometer is a sensor that can detect movement by tracking acceleration per unit of time around the x,y,z coordinates.

To add the motion sensor to the Thing – you need to make sure that the sensor is attached to the right pins:

Thing: GND=Sensor: GND

Thing: 3V3=Sensor: 1.9-3.6V

Thing: Pin 2=Sensor: SOA

Thing: Pin 14=Sensor: SCL

The following videos exemplify the movement around each of the x,y,z coordinates.

The gyroscope is a sensor that can detect movement by tracking the change of rotation around the x,y,z coordinates per unit of time.

Now we will try it ourselves. For doing that, go to the next section – section 06 – and start experimenting with the accelerometer and gyroscope:

06) Experimenting with the accelerometer and gyroscope