Remote motion control platform reduces costs

Paul Boughton

STMicroelectronics has developed a complete, ready-for-use platform that combines state-of-the-art motion sensing with ZigBee wireless technology in a single ultra-compact module.

With low power consumption and high level of integration, the MotionBee platform enables system developers to quickly and cost-effectively build wireless sensor networks for remote motion recognition and tracking in many different application areas, including healthcare, security, industrial control and environmental monitoring.

The first-generation MotionBee module integrates ST’s 3-axis digital-output MEMS accelerometer with a ZigBee platform from Ember Corporation that includes the EM250 System-on-Chip, a 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.15.4-compliant radio transceiver and processor, together with the EmberZNet PRO ZigBee networking software.

The module detects accelerations in the selectable range of +/-2g and +/- 6g and transmits the information to a central connection point (star topology) or every other node (mesh topology) in a ZigBee wireless network. The module is fully programmable and its small size (49 x 27 x 5 mm) makes the deployment easier, such as in wearable medical or sports equipment.

The first-generation MotionBee modules are optimized for designs that require long battery life, a low external component count, and a reliable, proven, industry-standard networking solution. ST’s first MotionBee device, the SPMB250-A1, is available now, with samples priced at $60. An evaluation kit is also available, with two pre-programmed modules and a ZigBee dongle for integration with a PC.

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