AMITIAE - Thursday 8 August 2013

Epson Develops the World's Smallest Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)

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By Graham K. Rogers


One of the features of the iPhone when first announced was the use of a number of sensors, particularly an accelerometer. The use of such sensors to input data to inertial measurement units (IMU) has become fairly important, not only for smartphones but moreso in vehicles and satellites for example. IMU devices are also widely used in medical applications, where small size is a major advantage.

imu Epson corporation claim that the company has developed the world's smallest inertial measurement unit and will begin shipping samples of the first product in its new V series of IMUs in December 2013. The M-V340 is smaller and lighter than Epson's current IMU, the M-G350. Of particular note is the point that it consumes far less current as well.

A dedicated integrated circuit was developed for the V series and this allowed a reduction in the number of parts. Because of this Epson were able to optimize the layout design.

The IMU measures 10 x 12 x 4 mm, weighs 1 gram, and consumes just 18 mA of current, so is small enough to be used in ultra-compact, lightweight devices, particularly in medical fields: devices equipped with an IMU can be attached to patients to accurately measure movement without limiting motion or feeling obtrusive.

The device will be shown in the US at AUVSI's Unmanned Systems 2013: an unmanned systems and robots symposium and exhibition (Epson booth, number 3736). Further details about the exhibition are available via the AUVSI website.

More information about the V series of IMUs and other Inertial Measurement Units, is available on the Epson IMU comparison page.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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