Magnetic and inertial sensors are becoming incredibly common. The majority of us would struggle to navigate without the navigation software they offer when driving cars or even walking about.
With the aid of GPS and maps, smartphones use electronic compasses (encompasses) based on inertial and magnetic sensor technologies to calculate the direction and lead aimlessly around the urban maze.
A highly sensitive 3-axis magnetometer that aims to measure the geomagnetic field of the Earth is the foundation of the eCompass.
Similar to how a mechanical magnetic compass must be kept horizontal for its needle to freely revolve and point toward the North Pole, it is connected to a 3-axis accelerometer whose primary function is to provide a horizontal reference to the Earth’s magnetic field vector.
The difficulty of converting the sensor data from an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer into genuine “3D space orientation” is likely something you’ve experienced if ordered and wired up a 9-DOF Orientation sensor.
Orientation is a challenging problem to address. It can be excruciatingly challenging to perfect and apply sensor fusion algorithms on low-cost real-time systems.
These algorithms are the magic ingredient that combines accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope data into consistent three-axis orientation output.
The Global 9-DoF Orientation sensor market accounted for $XX Billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $XX Billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of XX% from 2022 to 2030.
Bosch is the first company to do this correctly by combining a MEMS accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope on a single die with a fast ARM Cortex-M0 processor to process all the sensor data, remove the need for real-time processing and sensor fusion, and produce data that can be used to calculate quaternions, Euler angles, or vectors.
BNO055 – a clever 9-DOF orientation sensor that accomplishes the sensor fusion all by itself – can have useful sensor data in minutes as opposed to spending weeks or months tinkering with algorithms of varying accuracy and complexity!
The first major partnership was with Bosch Sensortec, a leading supplier of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and other sensors for consumer and industrial applications.
Bosch Sensortec acquired the 9-DoF orientation sensor in order to offer a complete motion sensing solution that includes accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. This will enable Bosch to offer a comprehensive set of motion sensing solutions to its customers.
The second acquisition was by Qualcomm, which acquired the 9-DoF orientation sensor along with other sensor technologies from InvenSense, a company specializing in the design and manufacture of MEMS sensors.
Qualcomm plans to use the acquired technology to enhance its mobile application processors and other products.
In addition to these two major acquisitions, 9-DoF orientation sensors have also been acquired by two start-ups, FlipRobot and InvenTek. FlipRobot is a robotics start-up that is developing a robotic arm that can be programmed to perform tasks such as picking and packing.
The 9-DoF sensor will be used to provide the arm with the necessary orientation and movement information. InvenTek, on the other hand, is a start-up that is working on a virtual reality glove which will use the 9-DoF sensor to track and measure hand movements in three-dimensional space.
Recent advances in 9-DoF orientation sensors have enabled rapid and accurate sensing of the attitude of vehicles, aircraft, and other objects.
The ability to accurately sense an object’s orientation and changes in orientation can be very useful in a variety of applications. For instance, it can be used in navigation systems, aiding in the navigation of unmanned aerial vehicles or in the detection of movement in gaming controllers.
In the automotive industry, orientation sensors can be used to detect the orientation of a vehicle relative to the ground, enabling autonomous driving.
In the past, orientation sensors have been limited in terms of accuracy, responsiveness, and power consumption. The recent trends in 9-DoF orientation sensors have seen significant improvements in these areas.
For instance, some sensors now have an accuracy of 0.1 degrees, allowing for very precise measurements of an object’s orientation. In addition, many sensors now have an extremely fast response time of just a few milliseconds, enabling real-time sensing of an object’s orientation.
Furthermore, advances in sensor technology have allowed for orientation sensors to be made with very low power consumption.
This is particularly useful in battery-powered applications where the power consumption needs to be kept to a minimum.
Additionally, some sensors are now capable of being integrated into the same module as an accelerometer or gyroscope, enabling the use of a single module for both motion sensing and orientation sensing.
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