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.

The Optical Tracking Odometry board measures a mere 1in. by 1in. and boasts a smaller profile than its industry counterparts. Unlike bulkier options that require multiple boards, this sensor features a single-board design with an onboard tracking algorithm. User-friendly Arduino and Python libraries simplify integration, quickly getting you up and running.

The PAA5160E1 chip offers exceptional tracking performance with a typical error rate of 3-5% within a working range of 10mm to 27mm. However, a calibration within the sensor's firmware can significantly reduce this error to under 1% in ideal conditions. This sensor excels at high-speed motion tracking of up to 2.5 meters per second, making it an excellent choice for navigating warehouse robots, commercial robots, and other fast-moving applications.

Thanks to its Qwiic compatibility, the SparkFun sensor integrates seamlessly into your XRP or other robotics projects. This user-friendly interface eliminates complex wiring configurations and simplifies connection to other Qwiic-enabled components. The included Arduino and Python libraries and the onboard tracking algorithm in the firmware streamline the development process, allowing you to focus on creating innovative robot functionalities.

Are you a FIRST Tech Challenge team? This sensor is perfect for you! It's much more compact than odometry wheels and can be positioned anywhere under your robot, making hardware integration significantly easier while offering comparable performance. The sensor must be positioned exactly 10mm from the field tiles for ideal tracking performance. In addition, a Java library is available for ease of use. Make sure you also have the Qwiic to STEMMA Cable to connect your sensor to the control hub.

Note: This is a CLASS 1 LASER PRODUCT CLASSIFIED IEC 60825-1 2014.

The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.


  • Arm® 32-bit Cortex®-M0+ CPU, frequency up to 48 MHz
  • -40°C to 85°C/105°C/125°C operating temperature
  • Up to 32 Kbytes of flash memory with protection
  • I2C address: 0x17 (fixed)

Optical Tracking Sensor - PAA5160:

  • Tracking Accuracy: 3-5%
  • Tracking speed: 2.5m/s
  • Working Distance to Tracking Surface: 10-27mm
  • Frame Rate: 20,000 fps

6-DOF IMU Accelerometer:

  • ±2/±4/±8/±16 g full scale
  • ±125/±250/±500/±1000/±2000 dps full scale

SparkFun Optical Tracking Odometry Sensor - PAA5160E1 (Qwiic) Product Help and Resources


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #635585 / last week / 1

    Four years ago I submitted a prototype to FTC for consideration. You can see my reddit post with a picture and description and requesting comments here:

    My sensor was not approved by FTC as they claimed it violated the focused light rule and because it used an at-tiny microcontroller to translate the output from the optical sensor to quadrature signals for the rev hub or expansion hub.

    Apparently FTC has relaxed the ruling because you are a company providing a product.

  • chuckmerja / about 2 weeks ago / 1


    • SparkFro / about 2 weeks ago / 3

      Yes, this sensor is legal for competition use in FTC!

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