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From amateur drone hobbyist to accidental sales support

Posted: 05 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bosch Sensortec? Electronica? drone? sensor? MEMS?

Divya Thukkaram, product manager at Bosch Sensortec GmbH, has narrated how at Electronica an amateur drone maker became a powerful sales support on her company's booth. What was supposed to be the last day of the trade fair unintentionally made a lasting impression on her.

When I was having a chat with one of my colleagues with whom we shared the booth at Electronica, I saw a young gentleman with a companion moving our demonstration board frantically, whilst fumbling with the connector cable erratically, to see an animated blue shark moving in synch with the board. For a split second, I had the urge to call security, but then my gaze went from the moving demonstration board to his eyes, which were something of a kid looking at an airplane for the first time. Though it might sound a bit exaggerated, so it was to see the reaction of this excited techie.

Divya Thukkaram

I moved gently towards them and asked whether I could be of any help. The reply came after some delay (unlike the output of our fusion algorithm), but it was rather different from all the visitors we had at our booth since the beginning of that week. 'I would like to have this BNO055 shuttle board, can I purchase it now?' asked the young man. His companion and I were both perplexed with this question and I stuttered in surprise to collect my words.

Now for those who are reading this blog, wondering what the BNO055 is and what Bosch Sensortec has got to offer a techie who makes drones as a hobby, Bosch Sensortec, a manufacturer of MEMS sensors for the consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and consumer game controllers had introduced a sensor, BNO055 to its ASSN sensor family to complement its large sensor portfolio. The sensor, which has an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and a microcontroller with integrated sensor fusion software, is targeted mainly for the IoT, wearables and the robotics market.

Since the sensor comes with an integrated sensor fusion software, the OEMs who until now had either developed the sensor fusion algorithm themselves or made licensing agreements with sensor or software vendors, can now focus on building world class products to enrich the end customer experience. And as for the hobbyists (makers) who neither have the resources nor the intimate knowledge of the sensors being fused, can now spend their valuable time in building cool, mind-boggling applications rather than trying to understand the sensors.

The gentleman in his mid-20s who was still waiting for my response to his question at our booth in electronica, realised that he had neither introduced himself nor explained what he was looking for, apologetically started elaborating all about his drone project which he works in his spare time, the challenges he faces to stabilise the drone in mid-air, his disappointment in the sensors available on the market, his unsuccessful attempts in writing the sensor fusion algorithm himself and so on.

Since it was the last day of Electronica, the day for students and hobbyists, more people started gathering at our booth to listen to the animated speech of this gentleman who showed his companion, the blue shark demo, which moved with hardly any latency in synch with the BNO055 shuttle board. Eventually more people started asking him the questions, leaving me behind as a mere spectator!

Although he did an unplanned peer-to-peer marketing for BNO055 at our booth, I had to disappoint him by saying that the board is not for sale. With a heavy sigh he left our booth, leaving me to mentally craft a blog about this unexpected turn of events!

- Divya Thukkaram
??EE Times Europe

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