Using the accelerometer sensor: which way is up?

The accelerometer sensor (see image below), also known as the tilt sensor and acceleration sensor, enables your robots to know “which way is up and when your robot tilts left or right, up or down, or side to side.” That’s according to the official LEGO online store, where you can currently purchase the sensor for $46.99. Your NXT robots can finally determine when they’ve toppled over! The maker of the sensor, HiTechnic, offers more details at their website:

The NXT Acceleration Sensor contains a three axis accelerometer that measures acceleration in three axes, x, y and z. Acceleration is measured in the range of –2g to +2g with scaling of approximately 200 counts per g. The Acceleration Sensor can also be used to measure tilt in three axes.

So what are some real applications for this sensor? Well, you can use it to play a game on the NXT. A more common use, however, is in a mobile robot for determining when the robot is situated at different angles (facing upward, downward, etc.). As with the other available sensors, I’m sure there are numerous other possibilities!

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