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Sensors/MEMS??

Epson rolls high-end, low-cost IMU-G1

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? piezoelectrics? inertial measurement units?

Epson Electronics America Inc. (EEA) aims to cash-in on a growing market for high-end inertial measurement units (IMUs) by cutting their cost by 50-fold with a high-precision model that combines the ultra-small size of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) with the ultra-low-power of piezoelectrics.

High-end IMUs can cost as much as $75,000. The devices are well worth it if they keep ships, agricultural machinery and industrial robots safe and on-track. Growing at double digit rates, the market for industrial IMUs could reach a billion dollars by 2016, according to Yole Dvelopment.

"Our new IMU-G1 measures just an inch square, but its accuracy is comparable to those large, expensive military-grade fiber-optic gyro-based IMUs," said Bob Porooshani, general manager of EEA's Sensing Systems business unit. "We have also gotten the power consumption down to about 1/10th of a watt, all for a cost of about $1500 in volume," he added.

Epson is currently test-marketing the new IMUsamples are $2500and is awaiting those test results before setting final price and specifications for production models. Epson's aim is to offer near mil-spec performance for industrial applications that need the precision, but have size, power and cost constraints in their application. Samples are currently being evaluated by industrial users for applications in precision farming, industrial robotics, mining and drilling, automobiles, elevators, theme park rides, motion capture for film and high-end sports training centers.

- R. Colin Johnson
??EE Times





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