How can you use a three-axis position sensor?

At Sensor Expo 2017, Nick Czarnecki, regional marketing manager from Melexis, demonstrates concepts for position sensing using the company’s MLX90393 Triaxis position sensor in human machine interface (HMI) applications that include rotation, push detection and controlling 3D motion with a joystick.

The demo shows how a non-contacting rotating knob can set the absolute axis position on a control and indicate the rotating position as well as show push detection. Using a joystick interface, 3D motion can be detected. It detects absolute position in both axes providing forward, backward, left and right control and intensity as well.

The demo uses the ML90393 micropower magnetometer that has programmable duty cycles in the range of 0.1% to 100% with single measurement mode, burst mode and wake-up on change mode.

Offered in a 3×3-mm miniature QFN package, the sensor provides a 16-bit output proportional to the magnetic flux density sensed along the XYZ axes using the Melexis proprietary Triaxis technology. The digital magnetometer values as well as a temperature output signal are delivered via I2C and SPI protocols where the MLX90393 operates as a slave on the bus.

The sensor’s design optimizes the trade-offs between current consumption, speed and signal noise to provide a best-in-class Figure of Merit.

The Triaxis technology is also used in the company’s position, rotary position, resolver and 3D joystick position sensor (and in some cases, sensor assembly) products for different applications including those in automobiles, where a unique output protocol and the ability to meet strenuous automotive electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic compatibility EMC requirements are necessary.

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