Monday, 28 November 2011

Pololu I2C Gyro, accelerometer and compass

My black Friday Pololu order arrived this morning. I'm delighted with the purchase, and one item in particular has blown me away.

It's a MiniMU-9, which combines a triple-axis gyro, a triple-axis accelerometer and a triple-axis magnetometer. In other words, it measures all the data you need to work out the position and orientation of a mobile robot. And it's tiny.

To give you a feeling of its size, the connector holes in the image are 0.1" apart, and it weighs just under a gram.

Now if only I had a small, low-cost lightweight, Linux-capable board to control it, I could build an autonomous blimp. But that's just Pi in the Sky :)

Seriously, the Raspberry Pi (described in the Register article linked to above) is well-suited to the job of managing an autonomous blimp. It's true that the gumstix is even smaller than the Pi, and available this month rather than next; but it costs a lot more.

Meanwhile I have projects stacked up that will keep me occupied for the foreseeable future. I have more work to do on my beta mbed project, and I need to post more Python I2C code for the Beagleboard. Meanwhile TrackBot is still waiting for a working radio link.

Christmas is going to be busy this year.

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