Microtech2010 2010

Overcoming the Challenges of Using Gyroscopes for Motion Sensing in Pointing Device Applications

T. Kelliher
Movea, US

Keywords: gyroscopes, inertial sensors, motion sensing, MEMS


Whether designing from scratch or adding to the feature set of an existing product, the product design engineer faces a number of system level challenges when adding human motion sensing to a pointing device, presenter or game controller. The use of analog inertial sensors (gyroscopes) requires the addition of multiple channels of analog to digital conversion. In addition to the ADCs, the computational requirements for the calculation of motion results in a more expensive and power hungry system processor. Adding further complexity is the need for the design engineer to understand the particulars of the gyroscopic sensor such as; drift and jitter characteristics, gross vs. fine motion resolution and power management. With over 20 years of experience in human motion sensing utilizing inertial and magnetic sensors, Movea has developed the expertise to overcome the challenges that face the design engineer when developing a wireless motion sensing pointing device. Combining the gyroscopic sensor with a dedicated motion processing engine, Movea has recently announced the availability of the Air MotionIC (MIC2GxA0M-PD), to allow the product design engineer to add human motion sensing to a product without having to be overly concerned with the challenges of utilizing gyroscopic sensors. The Air MotionIC provides the design engineer a digital interface and register set similar to desktop navigation sensors. The motion processing engine automatically compensates for drift and jitter, provides a familiar mechanism for setting resolutions and automatically handles power management. Movea’s product lines include pointing devices and sports/fitness activity monitoring. Similar challenges face the product design engineer when designing sports and fitness activity monitoring products. The same inertial and magnetic sensors can be utilized to produce highly accurate and valuable data for the amateur or professional athlete.
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