Posted by: Harold Ennulat | February 9, 2010

The Five Motion Senses

In a recent article in Sensors Magazine at titled “The Five Motion Senses: MEMS Inertial Sensing to Transform Applications”, Harvey Weinberg and Rob O’Reilly with Analog Devices discuss low cost accelerometers and gyroscopes for use in controls applications.   

These things look a lot like IC’s but are actually MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) that have been used in airbags, laptop PC’s, the Nintendo Wii, and the Apple iPhone.    

The article points out that these devices can be used to measure and detect five types of motion. These are acceleration, vibration, shock, tilt, and rotation.       

The Five Motion Senses


The article suggests that these devices can also be used for gesture sensing like tapping, double tapping, or shaking.       

Despite suggestions for use in medical devices and operator interfaces such as remote controls, applications for use in typical industrial control applications were not suggested.       

It does not appear that these devices are available yet as an industrial sensor that can be directly interfaced into a PLC based application.       

However, just knowing that such devices exist may well propel new instrumentation and applications for plant automation.


Update:  Fluke has announced a vibration testor that is said to be able to ” detect imbalance, looseness, misalignment, and bearing failures in a wide variety of mechanical equipment; rate the severity of the fault; and recommend repairs.”  This article appeared today in Sensors Mag.  

Updated 2/9/2010 2:48 pm  |  Created 2/9/2010 12:41 pm

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