Make a tilt sensor!

In 2015/2016, the team made extensive use of inertial navigation units (IMUs) and tilt sensors to determine things like the position of a mechanical arm or angle of a shooter and even the position of the robot itself. The sensors consisted of two parts:

  • an accelerometer that is so sensitive, it can even measure the acceleration of gravity.
  • an Arduino microcontroller to read the accelerometer, process the values, and communicate them to the RoboRio.

There are many ways to communicate a value like pitch or yaw or tilt: convert the value to an analog voltage, convert the value to a duty cycle, send the value as a sequence of binary bits, etc. The team used the duty cycle method (PWM) because this is more immune to noise than an analog voltage and easier to implement than serial communications. Both the RoboRio and Talon motor controllers have built-in ability to read PWM signals.

So the first summer challenge is to make a tilt sensor using an Arduino and Accelerometer that outputs pitch or roll or yaw as a PWM value. The critical information you need to do this is here:

Good luck!

Tip from Nathan: You may have to download this driver for the Arduino to communicate with your PC over USB.

Easter Egg: since you probably don't spend enough time on your cell phone, here's the complete Arduino software development environment for Android: ArduinoDroid !

Last modified 5 years ago Last modified on Jun 20, 2016, 4:09:26 PM