Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

TDK launches new sensor range as it hosts industry event

The sixth annual TDK Sensors Developers Conference is currently under way in Santa Clara, in the US. 

Keynote speaker at the event is Jenelea Howell, director of IoT and connectivity at IHS Market. 

Sensors often presented as the backbone of the Internet of Things (IoT), measuring and collecting data that enables any IoT application. 

The dynamics around the adoption of IoT strategies today have a significant impact on the demand for sensors, which are experiencing significant growth trends directly in correlation with the overall IoT movement, says Howell. 

Drones are increasingly being used to survey construction projects and large-scale industrial assets, including agricultural lands. 

To help the marketplace understand the impacts of the developing technology, Howell will address the variety of ways sensors are incorporated into IoT solutions, from stand-alone connected sensors dedicated to specific tasks to more complex sensor bundles, which incorporate multiple types of sensors as well as embedded processing and utilize sensor fusion techniques.

Howell’s presentation will focus on four key questions about the development of the sensors market:

  • Where are multi-function sensors utilizing sensor fusion driving adoption of devices that are more situationally and environmentally aware?
  • When looking at deploying advanced connected sensor solutions with the potential to generate a much larger volumes of data, what will be the role of embedded processing in enabling more compute/intelligence at the edge of the network?
  • Which applications and use cases will drive large deployments of new sensors/sensor networks?
  • What are key examples of successful applications where connected sensors provide clear return on investment?

Meanwhile, TDK, which recently acquired InvenSense, has launched the InvenSense ICM-20789 MEMS 7-axis integrated inertial device combining a 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and an ultra-low noise MEMS capacitive barometric pressure sensor.

The ICM-20789 encompasses a single small footprint, with the industry’s lowest pressure noise of 0.4Pa RMS and excellent temperature stability with a temperature coefficient of ±0.5 Pa/°C. 

The low-temperature coefficient of the ICM-20789 enables the temperature stable capacitive pressure sensor to measure extremely small pressure differences of ±1Pa, enabling the ICM-20789 to detect altitude changes of less than 5cm.

This industry leading pressure noise performance enables improved drone altitude-hold and a more accurate tracking of altitude changes for wearables, navigation, and fitness applications. 

The InvenSense device is currently in n mass production in Skyrocket’s new line of Sky Viper drones. 

Hayley Thistlethwaite, vice president of product development at Skyrocket, says: “The ICM-20789 has helped to improve the overall flight performance from our previous generation of drones, and demonstrated better altitude-hold over other solutions.” 

In addition, TDK’s latest high-performance 6-axis motion sensor inside the ICM-20789 integrates the most granular tracking of rotational and linear motion and simplifies the fusing of sensor signals.

The motion and pressure sensor integration enables a fast implementation for a wide range of applications, including: activity monitoring for wearables, gesture recognition for AR/VR and gaming applications, and step/stair counting for fitness applications.