4M: A Plug & Play 3D Motion Tracker Compatible w/ Arduino
4M is a small form factor 3D motion tracker that harnesses MEMS technology to precisely measure orientation and acceleration. Do you create or use projects that involve motion? Have you ever wanted to track that movement and collect spatial data? Within minutes of receiving 4M, you'll be able to capture and access 3D data from your project - no soldering, coding, or programming required. 4M seamlessly integrates into any project using Bluetooth or a wired interface and is built on an open source platform; perfect for makers, hackers, and engineers alike!
Our motivation is to make it as easy as possible to integrate 3D motion sensing into projects. We developed 4M because we couldn't find an easy to use, plug and play system that could collect all the data and provide all the measurements we needed to make the electronic personal trainer we're working on (4Motion - coming soon!)... so we built one ourselves. Talking with others in the Chicago startup and maker scenes, we found that 4M could solve similar problems for a wide range of applications - from unmanned aero vehicles (UAVs) to robots to gesture recognition.
MEMS (Micro Electromechanical Systems) technology is accurate and cost effective. Until now, it was left to the user to integrate multiple MEMS sensor boards with a microcontroller, power source, and wireless module. Enflux created a solution that brings all of these components together. Instead of finding sensors, selecting a power supply, and writing code to obtain data, 4M does it for you; it's a plug and play system. Anyone can power it up and use the data immediately. Others will utilize the open source nature of the device and write their own code to configure it to their liking. Designers, artists, hobbyists, and anyone interested in analyzing movements of their projects can benefit from this powerful device.
Here's how it works
Real-Time Data Capture
What we've packed into 4M:
LSM303D 3-axis accelerometer/magnetometer
L3GD20 3-axis gyroscope
Parallax Propeller microcontroller
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with management system
RN-42 Bluetooth™ 2.1+EDR module
12 channel analog output and SPI/I2C interface (Bluetooth™ substitute)
Push button and LED indicator
Fully functional open source firmware
App for Android smartphone 4.0 or higher - under construction, will include real-time chart updating.
Data from 4M is available immediately upon powering on. For the Bluetooth configuration this data can be monitored over any terminal program such as Parallax Serial Terminal or logged using freeware such as Eltima RS232 Port Logger. In the wired interface configuration you can process the data on your Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or most other data acquisition devices.
For streamlined data output, the 4M app available on your Android smartphone (4.0 or newer) logs and reports real-time data, and gives you a platform on which to view and post-process data using charts and graphs. Utilizing an Extended Kalman Filter developed in house, the 4M app processes the data stream to provide a robust solution of roll, pitch, and yaw as part of an AHRS (Attitude Heading Reference System).
4M is offered in two configurations:
1) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR - uses a class 2 module to wirelessly transmit data up to 60 feet. Connect to any Android based smartphone, Bluetooth equipped tablet, or Bluetooth equipped computer using a simple SPP (serial port profile). Use with the 4M app or any 3rd party serial data logging software.
Colors: Available in black and clear
2) Wired interface - uses a 12 channel DAC (digital to analog converter) to output the data stream in a format compatible with all data acquisition systems such as National Instruments and Omega. The output interface also includes common SPI and I2C ports to digitally connect to many microcontrollers.
Colors: Available in black and clear
How 4M stacks up
Use 4M with any motion or 3D tracking project. 4M integrates with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and any type of data acquisition system. Application possibilities and fields of use are endless and can include:
We want to hear from you! Share with the 4M community how you'll use 4M in the comments section.
Open source packages
We believe in open source. 4M is based on the Parallax Propeller Chip. Each board comes pre-loaded with fully operational firmware. The firmware is also available at www.enfluxmobile.com. 4M is capable of being reconfigured by the user over the USB connection. Simply download the Propeller Tool or PropGCC and modify the program using assembly, spin, or c language.
Our progress & why we need funding
We've finalized designs, built and tested prototypes on multiple platforms, and have lined up a manufacturer. We even invested in our own 3D printers to create 4M's case. This is where you come in. With your backing we will launch our first production run and this awesome sensor will be available for anyone to integrate into their project.
Help make 4M a reality and give makers, hackers, designers, and engineers a convenient and affordable way to integrate 3D measurement into their projects.
Manufacturing & Fulfillment
The design aspect of the product entirely completed. The design will be used by a 3rd party company to etch the PCBs and assembly the boards. The company has over 30 years experience in creating and populating circuit boards. At the completion of the campaign, a single order will be placed to satisfy all the boards that have been backed. The boards will then be assembled into the enclosure in-house and available to ship 8-12 weeks after the campaign ends.
Stay tuned via Kickstarter updates, Twitter, and Facebook as we incorporate 4M into our current R&D project, 4Motion. 4Motion is a mini personal trainer that analyzes your form to ensure you get the most out of your workouts. To learn more, please visit www.get4Motion.com.
We'd like to thank the following groups and individuals for their endless support:
Matt Brown, Dane Christiansen, & Kevin Ferri
Doug Hoang, Elijah Schuldt, Mickey Ferri, and Shari Brown have been working on this project for over a year.
Doug designs engines and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering;
Eli works on aircraft system integration and has a BS in Aerospace Engineering and Electrical Engineering;
Mickey writes algorithms and has a PhD in Economics;
Shari founded a nonprofit education project and has a degree in Organizational Studies and Global Change.
We've formed a tech startup called Enflux, a collaboration of engineers, inventors, and athletes to create motion-based projects that enable others to enjoy their passions and learn more from the world around them. Your support is key to making this a successful endeavor, and the whole team thanks you for your time and consideration.
Doug Hoang founded Enflux with the idea of creating a tech startup that creates optimal designs through collaboration between engineers, inventors, and end users. He put together his team of Elijah Schuldt, Mickey Ferri, and Shari Brown to make the idea a reality. Each member of the team sees the value of tech startups and the maker renaissance, and want to bring useful products to the market.
The team’s first Kickstarter campaign was based on an innovative Samsung™ Galaxy S3 phone case. While the campaign did not reach full funding, the team learned a lot about what it takes to keep a startup afloat, how to build contacts with manufacturers and suppliers, and how vital the support of like-minded individuals can be. We've learned a lot since our last Kickstarter and are excited to put that knowledge into action.
To learn more about Enflux, please take a look at www.enfluxmobile.com and feel free to get in contact with anyone on the team. We look forward to meeting you!