SparkFun RedBot Sensor - Accelerometer (Sale)

Sale: We've released a new rev of this RedBot Accelerometer with pre-soldered headers and reduced the price of this older version. We will not stock this version again once it's gone, get it while you can!

The Accelerometer sensor is an add-on for your RedBot that provides bump and motion detection. The sensor works by measuring acceleration forces on the x, y, and z axis. By measuring the amount of acceleration (or lack there of) your robot can get a better understanding of its movements.

The sensor has a 2x3 unpopulated footprint which connects directly to the RedBot Mainboard via a female header. You can also solder the sensor directly to the headers on the Mainboard if you wish. Just use the included RedBot library to detect bumps and motion.

Check out the entire RedBot family of products!

  • 5VDC Operating Voltage
  • Triple Axis
  • ±2g/±4g/±8g Selectable Full Scale
  • 12 bits of resolution
  • Orientation (Portrait/Landscape) Detection
  • 0.45 x 0.69 " (11.53 x 17.72 mm)
  • [Schematic]( Accelerometer.pdf)
  • [Eagle Files](
  • Datasheet (MMA8462Q)
  • Quickstart Guide
  • GitHub
  • Product Video

SparkFun RedBot Sensor - Accelerometer (Sale) Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

1 Robotics

Skill Level: Noob - You will be required to put together a robotics kit. Necessary parts are included and steps will be easy to follow. You also might encounter basic robotics components like bearings, mounts, or other hardware and need a general idea of how it goes together.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


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 #471855 / about 10 years ago / 2

    I don't want to spam but I cross posted this comment in the MMA8452Q Breakout Board section also.

    I was able to modify the RedBot accelerometer (MMA8462Q) CPP file to add two's complement checking and LSB shifting ala the advanced example in the Example Code (see MMA8452Q Breakout Board). Everything works as expected EXCEPT the g values are four times too large. I checked and double checked that the scale setting is +/- 8 g, I'm in the low res mode, the logic looks fine, and I'm dividing the count by 256 for the 8 g scale and I am getting ~+4.00 g in the z-direction, not ~+1.00 g as I expect. I'm using 8 for the scale factor in constructing the divisor for the counts (1/(1<<12)/(2*SCALE)) = 1/256 for 8 g full scale, yet I am getting an extra factor of four. I checked the raw output of the concatenated z-bytes which was ~16000 unshifted = 14-bits! What gives???

    Thanks for any suggestions (other than dividing by four which I am currently doing)!

    • Hello, I was playing around with my Redbot and found this same issue. I thought I could change the library file and fix it but it didn't change anything. Were you able to find a solution to this? Thanks

  • Member #368578 / about 10 years ago / 1

    the breakout uses the MMA8452Q, right? MMA8462Q is a typo, the link goes to the datasheet for the MMA8452Q

  • Member #394180 / about 11 years ago / 1

    You're wanting something stupid.

    Don't know why you wanted to hear that , but always willing to make a fellow hacker happy :-)

    Seriously, though, there's nothing wrong with soldering and anyone who wants to hack robots ought to be comfortable with the level of soldering in this kit. Honestly, I think at this point we should all be proficient in SMD soldering, not just thru-hole.

    As far as the example software goes, it's just that, example software. You are perfectly free to write your own using any library that you'd like. The problem with tying examples to a specific library is that libraries come and go, or they change. Examples need to be universal so they can be more easily ported between varying platforms. If there is a working example with definitions that you don't like, it should be just a matter of some text editing to change it over.

    Won't comment on the physical interface issue that you raised since I haven't had time to look at that.

    Good luck with your robot

  • Member #260321 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    I am looking at the RedBot as an entry-level complete robot kit, and the little red magnetic screwdriver is a nice touch. However, when I got to the Accelerometer I found some unplesant features. (1) soldering to to mainboard is required, unless I buy some female breakout headers and solder them. (2) This accelerometer (and its example software) uses up the SCA/SCL (I2C) pins without allowing additional I2C devices, and the example software doesn't even use wire.h to access them. I'd much prefer a 1x4-pin daisy-chained physical interface. Please tell me I'm wanting something stupid.

    • ebird97 / about 11 years ago / 2

      It doesn't "use up" the I2C pins, those pins are able to connect to over 120 devices using the same two lines.

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