Sense Vibrations from a Distance with Raspberry Pi @Raspberry_Pi #PiDay #RaspberryPi

The Universal Studios Tram Tour has a bunch of fun stuff from the old analog days of movie magic. In one bit, the tram car drives over a bridge that starts to vibrate violently. Support beams collapse. The platform cracks. Just when it seems like the whole thing will collapse, and those old timey special effects artists didn’t know what they were doing, the tram car rumbles off the bridge and back onto solid California ground. Then, a moment later, the tram car swings around the road to get a view of the bridge reconstructing itself like a disaster video in reverse.

All of which is to say, vibrations are essential to an understanding of the safety of bridges, key to construction in a place where the earth regularly shakes. Here’s a robotics project, powered by Raspberry Pi, that focuses on measuring vibration waves from a distant location. Here’s more from the Element 14 community:

We will measure vibrations that are traveling from excitation source which is a running brushed DC-motor. That will give a background to explore further and expand on other sources.

To accomplish our goal, there are several methods. One would be: to get a 3-axis accelerometer IC, and develop a PCB which then will measure the g-forces across this axes, and notify to micro-controller via SPI, or I2C. There are very sensitive ICs which are capable of measuring with up to 24-Bit resolution and require a lot of infrastructure and development to function properly, normally these would be suitable more for industrial or scientific usage. The scope of this Intractable is to work with more affordable and easy to use technology, which also can be installed onboard on robot and carried around and applied upon need.

See project!

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