Arduino Accelerometer

Arduino Accelerometer
Arduino Accelerometer

Ever wanted to make a high-tech motion and acceleration sensor? Congratulations—you can create your own acceleration-sensing device at home with an Arduino microcontroller and a simple accelerometer sensor! I’ll show you how to build an Arduino accelerometer, from choosing components to uploading code and calibrating the sensor, in this simple instruction. You need no Arduino or circuit skills to follow along. With a microcontroller, breadboard, jumper wires, and an ADXL335 accelerometer, you can measure acceleration and tilt quickly. This project is enjoyable, and you’ll love experimenting with your homemade accelerometer. Let’s begin!

Introduction to Accelerometers

Accelerometers are undoubtedly familiar but unclear. Accelerometers measure acceleration. When you use a phone or auto accelerometer, it detects acceleration in several directions.

What Do Accelerometers Measure?

In g-forces, accelerometers monitor acceleration. 1 g = 9.8 m/s2 gravity. Accelerometers measure left/right, forward/backward, and up/down x, y, and z accelerations. Accelerometers measure device orientation and motion.

How Do Accelerometers Work?

Microcrystalline crystals in most accelerometers deform slightly when accelerated. This distortion is electronically measured and converted to acceleration. Accelerometers made of MEMS use minuscule moving parts to measure acceleration. When the accelerometer travels, its tiny pieces bend or compress, which is measured for acceleration.

Accelerometer Applications

Applications for accelerometers abound. They detect screen orientation and motion-activated functions in most smartphones. Smartphone GPS accuracy is improved by accelerometers detecting movement and position. They’re employed in vehicle stability control, aviation navigation, and seismic monitoring systems.

Accelerometers enable Arduino projects for enthusiasts and creators. You may make motion-activated lights, tilt-controlled motors, navigation systems, and motion-sensitive game controllers. Interactive and motion-based electronics projects require accelerometers.

Understanding accelerometers’ measurements and operation will prepare you to use them in Arduino projects. With accelerometers, you can use the world’s forces to create new things.

Choosing the Right Accelerometer for Your Arduino Project

The accelerometer is essential for Arduino motion and acceleration detection. With so many possibilities, choosing the correct one might be difficult. Consider these factors:

Number of Axes

Most accelerometers are 1, 2, or 3-axis. A 1-axis accelerometer senses acceleration in one plane for motion activation or tilt sensing. More advanced motion detection is possible with 2-axis accelerometers. Full motion tracking is possible using 3-axis accelerometers. 3-axis accelerometers work well for interactive Arduino applications.

Sensitivity and Range

Sensitivity is the accelerometer’s ability to detect minor acceleration changes. Range defines maximum acceleration. Analog accelerometers are sensitive and wide-ranging. Although less sensitive and rangey, digital accelerometers are easier to integrate with an Arduino. Choose based on acceleration data precision.

Accelerometers have analog, digital I2C, SPI, or UART interfaces. Analog accelerometers emit a voltage that fluctuates with acceleration. I2C and SPI serial data interfaces are easy to integrate into Arduino programming. Since it requires two pins, I2C is popular.

Price and Size

Accelerometers cost a few dollars to $50 or more, depending on specs. Compact projects benefit from smaller accelerometers. Start with the ADXL335 analog accelerometer or MPU6050 digital accelerometer, both cheap and small.

These variables will help you choose an accelerometer for your Arduino project and ensure reliable motion and acceleration detection. With the correct accelerometer, you can develop interactive Arduino projects quickly!

Wiring Up Your Accelerometer to Arduino

Connect your ADXL335 accelerometer to your Arduino board. You must connect this 3-axis accelerometer to Arduino’s analog input pins.

Power (VCC and GND)

Arduino can deliver 2.5–5.5V to the ADXL335. Connect the accelerometer’s VCC pin to the Arduino’s 5V pin and its GND pin to ground (GND).

OUT1 X Axis
The x-axis analog voltage is from OUT1. Connect Arduino analog input A0 to this pin.

Axis Y (OUT2)
The OUT2 pin supplies y-axis analog voltage. Connect Arduino analog input A1 to this pin.

Z-axis (OUT3)
The OUT3 pin supplies z-axis analog voltage. Connect Arduino analog input A2 to this pin.

S0, S1, S2 Sensitivity Selection

Selectable 2g, 4g, and 8g sensitivities are on the ADXL335. For optimal sensitivity, connect S0 to S2 to ground (GND). Disconnect S1.

To read accelerometer data, submit code to Arduino after wiring it up. Each axis of the ADXL335 outputs 0–5V analog voltage. The analogRead() function will read these voltages and convert them to g-forces based on your sensitivity.

If you have any accelerometer wiring or interface questions, let me know! I’m happy to clarify anything.

Making Arduino Read Accelerometer Data

To use your accelerometer with Arduino, publish a project with data-reading code. The ADXL345 accelerometer uses SPI, therefore import the SPI library. Easy sensor interaction requires the Adafruit ADXL345 library.

Accelerometer initialization

Start by initializing the accelerometer. This contains SPI interface startup, sensor range, data rate, and more. Do this:

Include ADXL345 and SPI libraries:


Define chip choose pin:

ADXL345_CS 10

Make an accelerometer:

Accel = Adafruit_ADXL345_Unified(ADXL345_CS);

Accelerometer initialization:


Read Accelerometer Data
Read accelerometer data after initialization. Accelerometers return G’s for X, Y, and Z axes. Use to read this data:

Sensors_event_t event; accel.getEvent(&event);

Acceleration data will be added to the event variable. You may then obtain X, Y, and Z data:

Set float x, y, and z to event.acceleration.x, y, and z, respectively.

You may now use raw accelerometer data in your drawing! Detect orientation, movement, collisions, etc. You set the data update rate during initialization.

Enjoy building something awesome with that accelerometer! You can ask me anything more about utilizing it with Arduino.

Fun Arduino Accelerometer Projects

Accelerometers measure acceleration, including gravitational forces. It enables several fascinating ideas when connected to an Arduino. Start with these interesting ideas:

Shake-Activated Device

Arduino can operate an LED, buzzer, or motor when the accelerometer is disturbed. Make a shake-activated flashlight, noisemaker, or fan. The accelerometer detects motion and the Arduino responds in this basic project.

Digital Level

You can use the accelerometer to transform your Arduino into a digital level by measuring gravity. The accelerometer detects 1g in the z-axis when level. The Arduino can show this on an LCD screen and activate more LEDs as it levels. This aids DIY construction, woodworking, and other projects.

Vibration Sensor

High-sensitivity accelerometers can detect minor vibrations. Arduino can monitor the accelerometer and output when vibrations reach a threshold. This could detect mechanical issues, incursions, earthquakes, and other vibrations. Adjust the sensitivity for different uses.


The Arduino detects accelerometer movement by monitoring acceleration on many axes. Use this to activate an alarm, light, camera, or audio recorder with motion. Long periods of inactivity can also turn off the system to save power. Adjust timing and sensitivity to your needs.

The possibilities for accelerometer projects are boundless. Just a few ideas to spark creativity. Build interactive gadgets, tools, detectors, and more using Arduino and accelerometer. Enjoy experimenting with this valuable technology!


That’s it. Arduino accelerometers aren’t scary to build. You can detect motion and direction quickly with a few cheap components and some basic programming. A simple analog output makes three-axis acceleration measurement straightforward with the ADXL335. After connecting and calibrating it, you may create interactive projects that sense and respond to movement. Start detecting hits, measuring tilt, or creating motion-controlled games with this accelerometer. You can now explore motion sensing. So start constructing and discover where this additional power takes your Arduino creations!

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