Sports Biomechanics Lab > Blog > Playing with our new IMU
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Playing with our new IMU

by Jason Moore — last modified Jul 16, 2010 03:05 PM

We purchased a VectorNav IMU and have started putting it through some testing.

We received our new Inertial Measurement Unit for the bicycle a few days ago and it is looking pretty cool. We decided on the VectorNav Development Board ($800) after looking into a bunch of other IMU's. Our criteria for the choice was:
  • Not too expensive (less than $2000)
  • We needed to be able to measure the bicycle roll angle and roll rate fairly accurately (+/- 1 deg and +/-1.5 deg/s)
  • The device should be able to work on the gym floor, out doors and on a treadmill
  • It should be able to work nicely with a National Instruments DAQ either through or along side
  • It should be able to work with the Arduino
  • It would be nice to get yaw and pitch information too\

From Bicycle Dynamics
The VectorNav has proved to be (so far) a good solution for us. We will use it in tandem with the NI DAQ via Matlab and netbook computer and also will be able to connect directly to the serial header for the Arduino. We tested it out on the treadmill and a few other places to make sure we ended up with acceptable readings and that the magnetometer didn't flip out on the treadmill or because of the bicycle fork moving. VectorNav gives you a 30 day trial period to test things out and if it doesn't work you can send it back (another plus). 

For the treadmill test, we held the bike still and checked that the magnetometer readings were not affected by the treadmill motors. Everything looked pretty good.
VectorNav Output Treadmill
This shows the roll, yaw and pitch of the VectorNav during the treadmill test.
VectorNav Output Hallway
The VectorNav orientation output for the hallway test. We started on a line, rode around and returned to the line to see if the orientations returned to zero.
VectorNav Output Outside
The VectorNav output for the tests outside. We started on a line, rode around and returned to the line to see if the orientation came back to zero.
The data files [treadmill] [hallway] [outside] and the spreadsheet that was used to transform the quaternions to yaw, roll and pitch.
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