I have a simple scenario please:

Two Arduino Nano 33 IoT devices started moving randomly from the same exact origin(Point = [X0, Y0, Z0]);

Can I use the coordinates queried from each device Accelerometer to get the Euclidean Distance between them?

In other words, Is the relative coordinate/position retrieved from the Accelerometer reliable?

Because I read that getting the relative position every time requires double integrations which leads to big accumulated error over time. Though I might be totally wrong.

Your help is very much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


What you heard (about double integration and accumulating errors) is correct. Mathematically, you can do this, by integrating each device's acceleration to get its current speed, and integrating the speed to get it's current position, then taking the vector difference in the their positions to get the distance between them.

If you had highly accurate accelerometers in a very noise-free environment (both mechanical and electrical noise), you could do it for a (short) while before the inevitable tiny errors (which are also being integrated!) begin to dominate the data and make the results useless. But as a practical matter - especially for us experimenters using inexpensive equipment and subject to a lot of mechanical and electrical noises on the experimental platform, plus environmental electrical noise - this will happen even more quickly.

  • Thanks for this level of details Robert.
    – Mike
    Jun 14, 2020 at 14:10

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