ArduIMU V4 - An Arduino Based Integrated Measurement Unit
ArduIMU V4 - An Arduino Based Integrated Measurement Unit
ArduIMU V4 is a beefed up successor to the original ArduIMU project. It's a fully capable wireless Integrated Measurement Unit (IMU).
ArduIMU V4 is a beefed up successor to the original ArduIMU project. It's a fully capable wireless Integrated Measurement Unit (IMU). Read more
Hi Kickstarters! We are introducing the ArduIMU V4, a fully open source complete wireless sensor module that supports the Arduino™ framework. It is a fully capable wireless Integrated Measurement Unit (IMU).
The following video demonstrates just a few examples of the vast array of applications that you can achieve using the ArduIMU V4.
What is it?
Initially, the ArduIMU project was started as an open source project by Jordi Munoz and Jose Julio and later on in 2009 3DRobotics created the ArduIMU V2 and ArduIMU V3 as an inertial measurement unit based on the Arduino™. We contributed to the software development of that project, but, the initial ArduIMU was meant to be used solely as an inertial measurement unit. We want to do better than that; so we developed a brand new platform with other sensors such as a barometer, relative humidity sensor, and light sensor. We also included wireless communication capabilities as well an SD card for data logging and storage. Since then, we have gone through many revisions, adding even more sensors and functions which are present in the latest ArduIMU V4. With this new augmented and improved sensor board we are redefining the term IMU. We proudly present our Arduino™ based Integrated Measurement Unit: the ArduIMU V4.
Our team squeezed a huge amount of functionality and sensors into a tiny form factor: π cm x π cm (a 3.14 cm x 3.14 cm square PCB). It can fit into a small plastic case as shown in the video.
Several people from the open source community have joined in and helped us develop the hardware and the software for the ArduIMU V4. The ArduIMU V4 went through various development phases starting with multiple discrete sensors up to the latest and best (and most cost-effective) integrated inertial measurement chips. We have designed the hardware from the ground up to provide functionality never before seen on these devices.
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. After using it first-hand, we believe that the ArduIMU V4 is a must have for Arduino enthusiasts, developers, hackers and tinkerers.
Mike Lambeta had a Radio Interview regarding the ArduIMU V4. Enjoy
So, what's actually on the ArduIMU V4?
The ArduIMU V4 is based on an ATmega128RFA1 and is 100% compatible with the Arduino Framework.
Of course, we included an FTDI chip (USB UART, FT230XQ) on the ArduIMU V4 board so the communication with the host computer can be done easily and directly from the board using the attached micro USB connector. We've also done the hard work for you and included a lithium battery fuel gauge (charging state), and charging circuitry right on the ArduIMU V4 PCB, all you have to do is connect your ArduIMU V4 to the host computer (or other regulated 5V external power supply) and presto! it charges for you. Since we can't predict your unique requirements, we leave it up to you to pick a battery with appropriate size and capacity.
What can you use it for?
The ArduIMU V4 gives you access to SPI, I2C, UART (UART0 & 1) (UART1 is broken out as a GPS connector port), analog input and PWM output. This will allow developers to take their own ideas and design and develop custom shields for the ArduIMU V4.
And it doesn't stop there! We were able to compile the Contiki OS on the ArduIMU V4 and use it for various projects, including implementing 6LoWPAN for a network of multiple ArduIMU V4 units. Welcome to the Internet of Things!
Here's a handful of cool ways you can use the ArduIMU V4:
- Learn to use sensors
- Transmit data. Even more fun, transmit data wirelessly!
- Make a wireless mesh networks with multiple nodes
- Sense motion (e.g., sports, walking, running, flying, ...)
- Use it as a humidity sensor (e.g. to check if a pipe is broken in your basement)
- Log internal and external sensor data
- Blink the onboard LEDs
- Detect light using the light sensor, it's even capable of monitoring your vitals using pulse oximetry!
- Monitor the health of plants with the various humidity and temperature sensors
- Use it to help run your quad-copter
- Track weather changes
- Monitor analog data input and send it off somewhere wirelessly.
- Craft a PWM signal to help control a motor.
- Use it as an powerful inertial measurement device
- Learn Contiki OS and get involved with the Internet of Things
Have you wondered what else you can do with the ArduIMU V4? Well, following is a video from an undergraduate thesis project based on the ArduIMU V4 (Home Automation System). Indeed, possibilities are limitless.
How do I communicate with the ArduIMU V4?
ArduIMU V4 has 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. 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.
Existing ZigBee devices can also be used to communicate with the ArduIMU V4. However, while this feature is supported in hardware, we are still working on an easy to use Arduino-style framework to make this feature more accessible to those with little micro-controller development experience.
We have also designed an ArduIMU V4 compatible receiver based on the same microprocessor. Besides receiving wireless data from an ArduIMU V4, it also includes the 9-axis motion tracking device and can plug directly into your computer's USB port. The most important feature of the receiver is the SMA port, which allows you to boost your signal range or directivity with a compatible antenna. We are not making the receivers in large quantities yet, but are willing to add it if there is enough interest.
Why does ArduIMU V4 need Kickstarter?
Our project is simple. All of our hard work is done. The product selection, optimization and testing phases are complete. We have all the driver modules for different peripherals on the ArduIMU V4 written.
Since the cost of parts alone for an individual to assemble a device of this caliber would be in the hundreds of dollars, we are now aiming to mass produce our finished product and offer you the lowest price possible. By manufacturing the first 500 pieces via this Kickstarter campaign, you will make this project a reality!
We have already secured a local manufacturing plant in our home city. 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.
Kickstarters, we need your help to mass produce the ArduIMU V4 in order to keep it affordable for YOU! At it's root this is what the ArduIMU V4 is all about; we believe in making some of the world's coolest and advanced technologies accessible and putting them into the hands of people with awesome, creative and potentially world-changing ideas, people like you!
Will you join us?
Risks and challenges
While we have completed the design and testing of the ArduIMU V4, it still takes time to go through and finalize all the steps involved in the production of this device. It may be tempting to accelerate this process by skipping some of the key aspects, or ordering boards directly from an assembly house without completing a test plan but taking the time and doing it right the first time will go a much longer way to ensuring that you get a quality product that you can use for a long time. So, from the onset we ask for your patience as we take the necessary time to carefully go through these stages appropriately.
We are starting out with a working board that we feel very confident in. We have put it through a battery of tests that exposed inaccuracies which we have now fixed. Having physical boards in hand also revealed any problems with the silkscreen (the white colored labels on the board) and component placement. We have corrected all the kinks and refined the design through multiple revisions of the board. What we have now is the third revision which is ready for the manufacturing stage.
A complete bill of materials has been submitted to a local PCB assembly manufacturer and they have provided us with a price per unit allowing us to set the Kickstarter pricing.
After the Kickstarter campaign concludes, we will start work on the next steps:
1) Producing a Golden Master: i.e. building a final manufacturing sample to send to the PCB assembly manufacturer and receiving a sample of the machine assembled ArduIMU V4 (we're been doing our by hand so far). The manufacturer will have this sample on hand to refer to as a template while they setup the assembly of the boards.
2a) Test Plan Automation: We will develop an automated test plan that can be quickly loaded to the board and will test all the major functions of the board (USB communications, to wireless communication, to testing of solder joints on the I/O pins, SD card slot and different sensors on the board). Contrary to popular belief, hand-testing things is a bad idea since humans get tired, distracted, or just simply miss things! By putting our testing in the hands of tireless and reliable computers, we can guarantee a higher quality product.
2b) Environmental Testing: At the time we will perform some advanced environmental testing, as well as EMI testing to ensure the electronics on our ArduIMU V4's will survive in the harsh outside world (note that we are not getting FCC/CE/etc. approval since ArduIMU v4 is intended to be used as a component in your personal projects)
3) First Manufactured Test Run: The PCB assembly manufacturer will produce a test run of boards using their sourced components and assembly house.
4) First Test Plan Run: We will run the test plan on the test boards. Once these boards pass the automated test plan, we will be confident enough to proceed with a full scale manufacturing run.
5) First Kickstarter Manufacturing Run: Finally, we will manufacturing a large batch of boards to start fulfilling our campaing orders Kickstarter campaign. We will still run each ArduIMU V4 through the automated test plan to help keep us from ship out something you can't use.
We estimate that the process should take about 6-12 weeks after a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign.
Provided all of the manufacturing phases go exactly according to plan (these things rarely ever do), it is conceivable that boards could be in the hands of backers as early as 4 weeks post-campaign.
So what happens if things go wrong?
If the manufacturing plan changes significantly from our estimate the first thing we will do is notify you, our backers.
We will try to rectify the plan to keep it within the anticipated 6-12 week time frame, if needed postponing software development so we can get the hardware in your hands as soon as possible.
That being said, we don't anticipate things going awry, but it's better to have a plan in case they do.
- (30 days)