It's Odometry, My Dear Watson!

The new SparkFun Optical Tracking Odometry Sensor is here with a slew of other new products, including two from our friends at FGSensors.

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Hello everyone and welcome back to another big Friday Product Post here at SparkFun Electronics! This week we have a whole set of new products for you to check out and it all starts with the new SparkFun Optical Tracking Odometry Sensor! This standard-sized Qwiic Sensor is ideal for those of you looking for a new way to to control your favorite robotics platform (in our case, it's the XRP Kit) navigation capabilities with exceptional precision and streamlined integration. Following that we have a the last of the new Digi XBee® RR Pro Modules (at least for now) that join the rest of the ecosystem we carry. Next up, we have a new kit and a standalone magnetometer from our friends at FGSensors and we wrap the week off with a new Qwiic to STEMMA Adapter Cable! Now, without further ado, let's jump in and take a closer look!

High precision robotic navigation capabilities on a 1in. by 1in. board!

SparkFun Optical Tracking Odometry Sensor - PAA5160E1 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Optical Tracking Odometry Sensor - PAA5160E1 (Qwiic)


The SparkFun Qwiic Optical Tracking Odometry Sensor empowers you to elevate your robot's navigation capabilities with exceptional precision and streamlined integration. This compact, all-in-one sensor leverages the power of the PAA5160E1 chip from PixArt Imaging Inc., delivering accurate dual-axis motion data across various hard floor surfaces. But that's not all! This sensor boasts a powerful built-in 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and an onboard microcontroller that performs real-time sensor fusion and tracking algorithms.

Digi XBee® RR Pro Module  - PCB Antenna

Digi XBee® RR Pro Module - PCB Antenna


XBee RR 802.15.4 RF Modules are embedded solutions providing wireless end-point connectivity to devices. These devices use the IEEE 802.15.4 networking protocol for fast point-to-multipoint or peer-to-peer networking. They are designed for high-throughput applications requiring low latency and predictable communication timing. The XBee RR 802.15.4 RF Module supports the needs of low-cost, low-power wireless sensor networks. This variation of the RR module is the PRO version with a PCB Antenna. The PRO line provides extra customization aspects to the radios and does require a bit more configuration to get up and running than the standard XBee modules. It allows local configuration with BLE using the Digi XBee Mobile app.

FGSensors Full Gradiometer Kit

FGSensors Full Gradiometer Kit


The FGSensors Full Gradiometer Kit is a complete solution for those of you who are interested in building your own gradiometer. The kit includes all the electronic and mechanical components you'll need, including two FG-3+ magnetometer sensors, a fully assembled and tested PCB, pre-installed firmware with Android connectivity, an Android app, an LCD display, and more.

FGSensors FG-3+ Sensor

FGSensors FG-3+ Sensor


The FGM-X series of devices are very high sensitivity magnetic field sensors operating in the ±50 microtesla range (±0.5 oersted). They are simple, essentially three terminal devices, operating from a single +5 volt supply, the connections being ground, +5v and output. The output is a robust 5 volt rectangular pulse whose period is directly proportional to the field strength, (giving a frequency which varies inversely with the field), making it very easy to interface to a computer or micro controller. The typical period swing for the full range of an FGM-3 is from 8.5 μs to 25μs (~120 KHz to ~50KHz), a clear indication of its high sensitivity.

Flexible Qwiic to STEMMA Cable - 500mm

Flexible Qwiic to STEMMA Cable - 500mm


With the SparkFun Qwiic Connect System expanding every day, we want to make sure it becomes as accessible as possible but we understand there are other systems that can compliment it out there. The Qwiic to STEMMA Adapter Cable allows interoperability between the SparkFun Qwiic Connect System and the I2C based STEMMA boards from Adafruit. Now you can plug Adafruit boards you may have onto the Qwiic bus or you can use this cable to introduce Qwiic sensors, inputs, and outputs into your Grove system.

That's it for this week. As always, we can't wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. Please be safe out there, be kind to one another! We'll be back with more new products next week so make sure to check back then. Happy hacking!

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Comments 1 comment

  • Member #134773 / about 2 weeks ago / 2

    Watching Drew's video, I kept imagining "ultra-mouse" that would not only respond to x-y displacement and button clicks and wheel rotations, but also to having its orientation changed... too bad I have so many other projects to work on!

    And best of luck to the two young ladies!

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