I'm fairly new to GPIO programming and robotics with the Raspberry Pi, and was wondering what I should look out for to avoid pitfalls later when buying an accelerometer. I've heard that the GPIO pins on the Pi can only read digital inputs, if this is true, how would this effect the range of products that I could buy? I'm also wondering about compatibility and how hard it would be to work with, or even work with one through python.

  • GPIO pins can only read LOW and HIGH. So all analog accelerometers are out. Unless you also add an ADC chip. (I'm quit new to electronics, but I think searching for accelerometers that support I2C would be a good start.)
    – Gerben
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


Sparkfun.com has several that use I2C that should be easy to use. This one specifically comes to mind. The other realistic option would be to use an analog to digital converter for the pi, and then you can use basically anything you want.

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I've been playing with Wii controllers, they're bluetooth, good resolution and cheap. No harder to interface than the I2C and GPIO methods, easier for me as I had already been working on bluetooth interfacing for another project. And the bluetooth dongles are inexpensive too. If you get a newer Wii controller, they've got substantially improved accelerometer output due to the Wii-max or such, I forget the name. There's also the multitude of buttons and the IR sensor you get in the package. Quite entertaining.

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