In order to detect potholes in the street we need to track the vertical movement of the car.
To realise this task we need a special sensor, an accelerometer. This sensor can capture movements in all three axis. In the future we could combine it with the data from a gyroscope. This way, we also get an impression on the rotational forces that acting on the car.
There are a some accelerometers that are compatible with the raspberry pi. We have to find one that is easy to connect to the pi, has a easy way to fetch the data, is not that expensive and has an optional gyroscope right built in. Let’s take a look at the common ones:
The MPU-6050 is compatible with the raspberry pi over the i2c interface
It also contains a gyro which could potentially also be used for pothole detection.
costs: around 6€
The Freescale MMA7455L sensor is a 3-axis, 10-bit accelerometer with i2c interface
should be compatible with the raspberry pi, several tutorials available.
costs: around 8€
BerryIMU which uses a LSM9DS0
accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and barometric/altitude sensor
The BerryIMU hat an i2c interface. It comes with a lot sensors integrated which are not really needed, but would be nice to have for future additions.
In conclusion the MPU-6050 is our top candidate. Some team members already worked with this sensor, its good documented, has an gyroscope already built in and its fairly cheap.
In an upcoming blogpost, we will take a look on the amount and actual placement of the sensors.