According to Pete: IMU 101

A little shaky on IMU selection? This might smooth it out for you.

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Greetings, and thank you for stopping by to check out ATP!

Today’s episode idea comes from Wes in Tech Support. Wes told me that sometimes people have difficulty wrapping their heads around IMU selection: what it will and won’t do, what the numbers mean, how you talk to it and what you have to bring to the game. So this video is for those folks. I’ll go through some of the available parts, talk about specs you should look at and understand, discuss the interfaces and what you’re going to talk to them with, and by the end you’ll hopefully have a good enough knowledge base that you can make a selection with a reduced level of anxiety. Cool? Let’s rock this.

And for extra credit, go read some stuff! It’s only a couple of things, but they’ll keep you really busy.

Intertial Measurement Unit

Quaternions


Comments 5 comments

  • Hi Pete! I’m a total noob to IMUs so this was a great video (as always). However, I have a question: what does it mean when a part is listed as “do not use for a new design”? And how would one know it is listed that way? I did a simple Ctrl+F search in the data sheet for “do not” or “design” and couldn’t find anything. Thanks!

    • What it means is that the part manufacturer wants to stop producing that part, most likely because they have another part they would rather have you to buy. You won’t see it in a datasheet, but you will see it on the manufacturer’s web page for the part, probably also the distro’s (like Digikey) product page as well. They’ll try to steer the demand for the first part to other parts while they gradually wind down production. Then after some time, the distro sends out an email that says “Last time buy!”, and you know the end is near.

  • Funny piece of trivia - I was watching this with sound off and CC on. Sparkfun was rendered as “bark fun”. Guess they’ve visited your facility.

    In the meantime, any chance of an episode that shows how to convert IMU data to reliable measurements? Or to get clean reliable positions from the Bosch devices? I have yet to find a device that doesn’t vary all over the place, even sitting on a table inside a house on a concrete foundation.

    A final request - the devices with magnetic sensors all want me to wave them around in some specific pattern to calibrate them, but the pattern is so ambiguously described that I’m never sure if I’ve done it right. A quick demo in a video would be helpful.

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