A friend and I are working on a sign language translation glove.

Our glove currently successfully uses 5 flex sensors to determine the bend of each finger and can accurately detect letters in the sign language alphabet.

We are now trying to add the functionality to detect one-handed words. Many of these words involve making a letter, but adding some motion. For example, the colour "blue" involves making a B, then shaking/waving your hand in the B position.

We are wondering which type of sensor would be able to handle this. From our research so far, we assume this will either be an accelerometer or a gyroscope, but are not sure which one would be best in the scope of our project.

Any help would be much appreciated!


An accelerometer is a better choice here. For your application, you aren't worried about initial motion but just acceleration. Plus, an accelerometer is cheaper.


Use both. Accelerometer measure movement in direction of axes when gyroscope measure rotational movement. Being very delicate you can spin accelerometer and sensor won't see any changes, and you can move gyro in one axis without sensor detection. Having both mounted on one board (or in one casing) there is no possibility that motion will be missed by both. Look at the pictures what the sensors do:
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There is a plenty of integrated accelerometer-gyro sensors, for example MPU-6050 Accelerometer + Gyro with supporting libraries. Please check here

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