Introduction: Arduino Accelerometer Tutorial: Control a Ship Bridge Using a Servo Motor

Accelerometer sensors are now in most of our smartphones to give them a wide variety of usage and capabilities that we use daily, without even knowing that the one responsible for it is the accelerometer.

One of these capabilities is the controllability that the accelerometer give to us where you can control your car in racing games or use a certain app to turn your phone into a remote control for your robot or RC car that uses the accelerometer as the control tool.

So, in this Arduino Accelerometer Tutorial, we are going to use this last feature to make use of the embedded accelerometer sensor on our smartphones to control the opening and closing of a ship bridge. Of course, the bridge is just a servo motor that goes on 0 degrees to close and 90 degrees to open.

Let’s talk about the idea behind this Arduino Accelerometer Tutorial ...


We are going to use 1Sheeld board with its companion Android/iOS app and use the accelerometer shield where any change in any x-axis or y-axis or z-axis will be sent to the Arduino and hence we can decide whether to change the servo degree to 0 or 90.

Getting started:

If this is your first time to deal with 1Sheeld or you want to learn more about it, I recommend checking this quick and easy getting started tutorial .

And if you haven't tried servo motor before, I recommend checking this quick video . Now, after you've become a little bit familiar with 1Sheeld, let's start!

Step 1: Hardware Components:

  1. Arduino Uno.
  2. 1Sheeld+ board.
  3. LED.
  4. S90 servo motor.
  5. 3 * Male to male wires.
  6. Arduino USB cable or 9-12v battery.
  7. Android/iOS phone with 1Sheeld App installed on it.

Step 2: Software Components:

Step 3:

  1. Plug the 1Sheeld board into your Arduino as image1
  2. .Connect the LCD 16*2 as image2.
  3. Switch the 1Sheeld power to operate on 5v (Not the 3.3v) as image3.

1Sheeld have 2 modes: Uploading mode and Operating mode. You can switch between them using the switch close to the Digital pins and is called “UART SWITCH” on 1Sheeld and “SERIAL SWITCH” on 1Sheeld+.

  • Firstly, you slide the switch towards the “SWITCH” notation as image4 which turns the 1Sheeld board into the Uploading mode to let you upload the Arduino code.
  • Secondly, after you finish uploading the code, slide the switch towards the “UART” notation (or “SERIAL” at 1Sheeld+ board) as image5 which turns the 1Sheeld board into the Operating mode to communicate with your smartphone 1Sheeld App.

Finally, connect the Arduino via your PC using Arduino USB cable.

Step 4: Code:

I would recommend checking the Arduino Accelerometer Shield documentation to know more about the Arduino Accelerometer Shield functionality and how to use them.

Now, switch the 1Sheeld board to the Uploading mode, upload the attached code for the Arduino Digital Clock. Switch the 1Sheeld board to the Operating mode then open the 1Sheeld app and connect it to the 1Sheeld board via Bluetooth.

Step 5: Run It:

As you see in the Arduino Accelerometer Tutorial video, I have used a piece of cardboard taped to the servo motor as an indication of the bridge movement.

Then you tend the phone towards you and you will see the bridge has opened with 90 degrees of the servo and the LED is on with a speech comes out from the phone's speaker telling you that the bridge is now opened and a ship is crossing over.

And once you tend the phone on the opposite side, you will see the bridge is closed with 0 degrees of the servo and the LED is off with a speech comes out from the phone's speaker telling you that the bridge is now closed and a ship has crossed over.

That was it guys, I hope you enjoyed this quick Arduino Accelerometer Tutorial and for any questions or even opinions about it please don’t hesitate to leave your comment down below.