Back in 2007, the original ArduIMU launched with the capability of being a fully-functional inertial measurement unit based on Arduino. Seven years later, Ahmad Byagowi’s team has brought the ArduIMU V4 to life with countless added abilities.
The V4 — which recently launched on Kickstarter — is described as “a beefed up successor to the original ArduIMU project and a fully capable wireless Integrated Measurement Unit (IMU).” Based on Atmel’s ATmega128RFA1, the 100% Arduino-compatible ArduIMU’s wireless functionality allows the device to monitor 9-axis motion and use sensors to analyze temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and even visible light.
While these are the listed functions of the V4, the team aspires that Makers and hackers will work within the community to expand the device’s capabilities. “The ArduIMU V4 is not just useful to applications which require inertial measurement, but has evolved into a powerful and versatile hardware framework for hobbyists, Makers and hackers,” a company rep writes.
The new ArduIMU offers users access to SPI, I2C, UART (0 & 1), analog input and PWM output, therefore enabling developers to take their own ideas and design custom shields for the V4. Additionally, the team was able to compile the Contiki OS on the ArduIMU V4 and use it for various projects, including implementing 6LoWPAN for a network of multiple units. Hello, IoT!
So what exactly could you use a machine like this for in your daily life? The team suggests implementations ranging from using it to sense humidity or tracking regional weather changes to monitoring a plant’s health or helping to fly your quadcopter.
According to its creators, the ArduIMU V4 is equipped with a built-in Micro-USB port for charging and communication with a host computer. “Since we used a standard FTDI USB-Serial chip, you don’t have to worry about finding finicky drivers to make it work. To communicate wirelessly, you simply use two ArduIMU V4 units and set up wireless communication between them,” the team explains. “Of course, the ArduIMU V4 can do both at the same time, so you could have one ArduIMU V4 out sampling data and sending it wirelessly to a second ArduIMU V4 that is plugged into your computer’s USB port to do some heavy number-crunching.”
While existing ZigBee devices can be used to communicate with the ArduIMU V4, the team is still actively working on an easy to use Arduino-style framework to make this feature more accessible to those with minimal MCU development experience.
With the help of the Kickstarter campaign, the team is looking to manufacture their first 500 ArduIMU V4 units. With all materials already sourced, “All required schematic files and parts lists are fully completed and ready, reducing and hopefully eliminating most of the problems and delays you may find with many other Kickstarter campaigns.”
To read more about the campaign which runs until October 9th, head over to the ArduIMU V4 page!