I was doing some research about this subject and I only have more questions than answers.

I want a little IMU sensor (I don't know which hardware I should get) that sends data wirelessly to my Arduino.

The sender part (IMU + sender + battery) should be small (tennis ball size is fine) and the receiving part should be an Arduino.

What should I buy? How can I achieve this? I was looking at a lot of ideas: Xbees, bluetooth, radio receivers, Arduino Nano, etc.

My focus is on the Arduino code, I just need that the IMU sends data at least at a ratio of 10ms.

As a plus I would love to have more than one Wireless IMU sensor connected to my Arduino.

  • 1
    What is the purpose of having the IMU and arduino in different locations in your project? What data are you specifically looking to get from the IMU?
    – BrettAM
    Oct 17, 2014 at 20:22
  • There are in the same location (4-5mts). But its some sort of instrument and i want to avoid the use of cables. Im sending the stream of the Gyro/Accel.
    – Gonza
    Oct 17, 2014 at 20:27
  • A bunch of ATmega-based quadcopter boards could be an interesting platform as they often now incorporate a six axis chip such as MPU-6050, and use 2.4 GHz radios which are bidirectional. They are also relatively cheap (replacement parts for toys built around other processors may be even cheaper) Oct 18, 2014 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


You have not really given enough specifications for any choice of radio to make a difference in your scenario. Any list of products would be very long, overly summarized, and not relevant in a month, So I'll try and outline the thought process I would take in finding the fit for a project I was making.

Radio: Which type of radio to choose will depend on a lot of specific factors, but its more than likely that multiple options will work perfectly. You seem to know the major methods, Xbee, bluetooth, Wifi, and for very long distances, GSM.

You should consider the problem, define what you need by looking at the amount of data per second you want sent, the necessary range, the power you have available in the battery, any region specific laws, and anything else you can think of needing. Also consider if you really need an arduino as the receiver, or if you have a Bluetooth equipped laptop or wireless router on hand that could take that roll for you. Then look around at sparkfun or wherever and find the cheapest, most popular method that fits the bill.

IMU: Many IMU's exist with more or less the exact same features, so I will recommend a similar process. Look at the power consumption, output rate, sensitivity, and communication method you project needs, and find the cheapest and/or best rated item at your preferred electronics retailer that fits the bill. the MPU6000's are popular these days. The altIMUv4 has a magnetometer and barometer included as well. Shop around.

You will most likely want to put an arduino nano/micro/trinket/whatever with the IMU to translate to your communication method. Some radios work with UART serial, but not many IMU's output like this. Those that do cost more because they have a coprocessor on board. Consider if buying a co-processor equipped board will make your sensor processing easier before you discount it for the elevated price. In depth sensor fusion gets pretty hairy, and for some, not having to worry about it could be worth $50.

  • I followed this recommendation. For each component, evaluate every aspect of it and get the better option available that suits our budget. We finally went for Arduino Fio, XBee Trace Antenna (802.15.4) and the IMU (ITG3200/ADXL345)
    – Gonza
    Oct 20, 2014 at 16:28

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