Everyone seems to be in on the sensor fusion game. After all, it’s only software; how hard could it be?
You’ve got the sensor makers with their lower-level fusion kits. Then you’ve got the sensor-agnostic folks like Movea, Hillcrest Labs, and Sensor Platforms. And now a microcontroller maker. (OK, they did provide one of the sensors… but I’m getting ahead of myself…)
But for an engineer just starting to use sensors, having ready-to-go software can make an enormous difference in the learning curve, wiping out huge chunks of study that might otherwise be necessary. So access to software can be a big win.
Besides, the software helps sell sensors, and it runs on microcontrollers being used as sensor hubs, so it can help sell them as well. If you happen to make both, like ST and Freescale, then double bonus; you can even integrate them.
In this case, TI has announced their Sensor Hub BoosterPack. It’s more than just software; it’s a daughter card for their Tiva C Series TM4C123G LaunchPad eval board. It has seven sensors, including acceleration, orientation, compass, pressure, humidity, ambient/infrared light, and temperature. It includes a sensor driver library, a fusion API, and several example applications. Good for getting a sense of how this stuff works.
It appears to be something of a community effort, since the sensors on the card come from a variety of players:
- InvenSense provides the 9-axis IMU
- Bosch Sensortec provides the pressure sensor
- Sensirion provides the humidity and ambient temperature sensors
- Intersil provides the light sensor
- TI itself has contributed its non-contact infrared temperature sensor
You can find more information in their release.