While most applications require tangible interactivity, an accelerometer module may come in handy alongside your Arduino! Such an accelerator module contains a sensor that measures acceleration as a physical parameter. Accelerometers measure acceleration in one to three linear axes (x, y, z). Also, it is measured in units of meters per second squared (m/s²), or G-force (g), where each 1g equals 9.8m/s².
Today, I will introduce you to top 3 Arduino accelerometer modules that will give your applications the sense of movement. Let’s start!
This accelerometer module is one of the ADXL3xx series and it contains a MEMS sensor. MEMS stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Sensors that can measure acceleration.
In truth, the ADXL335 accelerometer module is a 3 axis accelerometer that has 6 pins, three pins for 3-axis sensing, one for Vcc, one for ground, and one for self-test. Self-test feature is a new feature to the recent accelerometer modules to make sure that the accelerometer is working well.
Note that ADXL335 operates with extremely low noise and it has a low power consumption, around 320uA.
Since the board has no voltage regulation, make sure you supply the right voltage (1.8~3.6 VDC).
This analog-output accelerometer module has a range of +/-3g. That means, that at 0g, the output is somewhere in the middle of the voltage. Usually, analog accelerometers are easier to use since A/D converters are in the structure of most of the microcontrollers. Worth mentioning that for each axis sensing there is a 0.1uF capacitor to set the bandwidth to 50Hz.
Since it is all about reading analog pins, no need for installing any extra library. Check this accelerometer module example to learn how to wire and set up your ADXL335 breakout. For sure, it is available to order online for $14.95.
2- Arduino Accelerometer Shield via 1Sheeld
1Sheeld is the ultimate board replacing all the Arduino shields with only one benefitting from the capabilities of smartphones as the input and output of any project. With 1Sheeld you have plenty of choices, starting from IoT and ending up with music applications. There are 47 variety of shields available right now, check this list out!
In fact, the Arduino Accelerometer Shield is one of the sensor shields that allow you to collect X, Y and Z vectors acceleration based on your smartphone built-in accelerometer. Thus, you can do this easily by adding only one line of code in your Arduino sketch. You can adjust your application to exact tilt values. Also, you can find the X, Y, and Z measurement shown up visually on your smartphone screen upon your code.
If you are not familiar with 1Sheeld, you can check this getting started tutorial, and also this tutorial video explaining more about the Arduino Accelerometer Shield:
The Arduino Accelerometer Shield has a range of sensitivity from 0 to 20 m/s² for Samsung Galaxy S3. But this range may vary based on each device. You would also have a look at this Arduino Accelerometer explainer blog to know more details about the shield, its functions, and a demo project.
Interested in this all-in-one shield? Go to the Buy section and order your own one now that works on both Android and iOS devices for only $54.49!
In fact, the LIS3DH is also a 3-axis MEMS accelerometer module with both I2C and SPI interfaces. It is one of the large collection of accelerometer modules that Adafruit provides. As well, it is popular with the low power consumption (2uA) and its low cost ($4.95).
Actually, Digital accelerometers are more advantageous than analog ones since they have more features and are less sensitive to noise. This accelerometer module may be more difficult to integrate within your project, and that depends on your experience.
Most importantly, The LIS3DH has 4 levels of sensitivities (+-2g/4g/8g/16g) and has a built-in self-test feature. It also has the capability to detect a tap, double tap, orientation, and freefall. Additionally, there are extra three ADC inputs if you want to read over I2C. With the onboard 3.3V voltage regulation, you can simply interface this accelerometer module with Arduino and other 5V microcontrollers.
In order to set up the LIS3DH, you should install the Adafruit Sensor and the LIS3DH libraries.
Finally, check out this tutorial to learn about its pinout, assembly, wiring, and programming. You can find more details about the breakout on the product page, and you can get it for $4.95.
Want to see this accelerometer module in action? Take a look at this short video! Check how it is controlling an LED strip lights and changing the phase of the LED sine animation.
That was an overview of the top 3 Arduino accelerometer modules available out there! I hope you find this useful. Feel free to add your comment or question below, and tell us which Arduino accelerometer module you have used before.
Disclaimer| 1Sheeld’s Accelerometer Shield is one of 1Sheeld’s +45 virtual shields.
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