3-axis accelerometer motion detector project


                                 MOTION DETECTOR PROJECT




Arduino code

A 3-axis accelerometer sits at the heart of this project to provide a nifty little motion detector.

An electronic motion detector  contains an optical, microwave, or acoustic sensor, and in many cases a transmitter for illumination. However, a passive sensor only senses a signal emitted by the moving object itself. Changes in the optical, microwave, or acoustic field in the device’s proximity are interpreted by the electronics based on one of the technologies listed below. Most inexpensive motion detectors can detect up to distances of at least 15 feet (5 meters). Specialized systems are more expensive but have much longer ranges. Tomographic motion detection systems can cover much larger areas because the radio waves are at frequencies which penetrate most walls and obstructions, and are detected in multiple locations, not just at the location of the transmitter.

Parts Required

  • Freetronics Eleven or any compatible Arduino
  • Freetronics 3-Axis Accelerometer Module
  • Male header pins
  • Seeed Studio’s Grove Base Shield
  • Seeed Studio’s Universal Cables
  • Seeed Studio’s Grove Button
  • Seeed Studio’s Grove Buzzer
  • Mini Breadboard 4.5cm x 3.5cm
  • Protoshield and female header pins
  • 1 x LED
  • 330 ohm resistor
  • Wires
  • 9V Battery + Battery Clip


  1. Overlay the Seeed Studio Base Shield onto the Freetronics Eleven (or compatible Arduino).
  2. Use a Universal Cable to attach a Seeed Studio Grove Button to Analog Pin 0 on the Base Shield. The socket is located directly above the Freetronics Eleven Power plug, and next to the Reset button on the Base Shield. Please note that Analog Pin 1 is not used by the Grove Button.
  3. Use a universal Cable to attache a Seeed Studio Grove Buzzer to Analog Pin 1 on the Base Shield. This is the socket next to the one used in Step 2.
  4. Solder the female header pins to the Protoboard. Overlay the protoboard onto the Base Shield to create a third layer. I created this layer to tidy up the project and make it a little bit more portable. You could just wire up another breadboard on the side.
  5. Stick a mini-breadboard (4.5cm x 3.5cm) onto the protoboard. This allows you to use the protoboard for other projects.
  6. Solder the male headers to the 3-axis accelerometer, and then place it centrally onto the breadboard.
  7. You need 5 wires to connect:
    • GND on protoboard to GND on accelerometer
    • 5V on protoboard to     VIN on accelerometer
    • Analog Pin 3 on protoboard to X on accelerometer
    • Analog Pin 4 on protoboard to Y on accelerometer
    • Analog Pin 5 on protoboard to Z on accelerometer
  8. Connect digital pin 8 to an LED and 330 ohm resistor on the breadboard,
  9. Use a wire to connect the resistor mentioned above to GND on the protoboard
  10. Connect the USB cable from your computer to the Freetronics Eleven, and upload the Arduino Sketch to the board.
  11. Disconnect the USB cable, and then power the Freetronics Eleven using a 9V battery and clip.
  12. When you press the button, it will sound 3 warning sounds before it becomes activated.
  13. If it detects a vibration or motion that exceeds the tolerance level, it will alarm. The alarm will continue until you either press the Grove button – which resets and reactivates the device or you can press the Reset button on the Base Shield to Stop monitoring for motion.


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