Bluetooth Embedded Inertial Measurement Unit for Real-Time Data Collection
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Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) are often used to measure motion parameters of human body in indoor/outdoor localization applications. Most of commercially available low-cost IMUs have limited number of sensors and are often connected to a computer by a wired connection (usually by USB). The disadvantage of using wired IMUs in human gait measurement is that, the wires disturb the natural gait patterns. The existing IMUs with wireless connectivity solve that problem, but are relatively high cost. This paper describes the development and testing of a miniature IMU that can be connected to a Windows based computer or an Android based mobile device through Bluetooth. The IMU consists of a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis magnetometer, a temperature sensor, a pressure sensor and an ambient light sensor. Sensors are sampled at a frequency configurable by the user with a maximum set at 100 Hz. Raw sensor data are streamed through the integrated Bluetooth module to the host device for further processing. The IMU is also equipped with a microSD card slot that enables on-board data logging. The power usage of the Bluetooth transmitter is optimized because only the sampled sensor data are transmitted. The windows application can be used to view sensor data, plot them and to store them into a file for further processing. Android application can be used to view data as well as to record data into a file. The small size of the device enables it be attached to any part of lower or upper human body for the purpose of gait analysis. Comparison of the performance of the device with a smartphone indicated that the output of the IMU is comparable to the output of smartphone.
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