Create a digital spirit level with the ESP32

Leveling the Game

© Lead Image © Uladzimir Kazhamiakin,

© Lead Image © Uladzimir Kazhamiakin,

Article from Issue 260/2022

The small MPU6050 sensor contains a gyroscope and an accelerometer, which means that you can build a digital spirit level with it.

To build a digital spirit level, you first need a sensor such as the MPU6050, which determines the position of an object in space. It has an accelerometer and a gyroscope for each axis in space and measures just 4x4 millimeters. For our test setup, we used a module to hold the semiconductor. You can get it from AZ-Delivery for EUR4.79 [1]. If it is sold-out there, you can also purchase the module on Amazon or from Reichelt.

The MPU6050 communicates with the Raspberry Pi via the I2C bus. The AD0 connector defines whether the sensor resides on bus address 0x68 (AD0 to GND) or 0x69 (AD0 to VSS). The operating voltage for the module is in the range of 3.3 to 5 volts. If you need more information about the MPU6050, take a look at the datasheet [2]. To access the sensor, we will use a library with simple functions for accessing the sensor's readings.

I went for an ESP32, a highly integrated microcontroller with an unbeatable price/performance ratio, to process the data from the sensor. I will be using an ESP32 development kit [3], which you can pick up fairly cheaply for EUR9.49. The Arduino IDE provides the development environment.


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