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Electronics news

An STMicro STM32WB-based tracker for only 25 dollars

An electronics engineer with the pseudonym "Valentine" has developed a VRChat-specific clock-like body tracker to provide a better immersive virtual reality experience - by combining an inertial measurement unit (IMU) with an STMicroelectronics STM32WB microcontroller.

"Each tracker tracks rotation in space, and the software uses human proportions and VR headset coordinates to calculate joint angles and estimate limb positions," Valentin explains the basic concept, which has already been tested in devices such as SlimeVR and HaritoraX. "More technically speaking, the technology relies on absolute orientation sensors, a calibrated skeletal model and direct kinematics."

"The circuit board is pretty simple," Valentine writes. "We have a few sensors, DC-DC converters, a charging controller, etc. Don't forget that the device is battery powered and we want to save as much power as possible, so even in the resistor divider to measure the battery voltage I put MOSFET switches." The 40mm round board accommodates all components including the antenna, a tiny 72×40 resolution OLED display was added for ease of debugging."

Valentine estimates that if 100 trackers are produced, the cost of parts, including the plastic case and strap to attach to the user's body, will cost about $25 each. For more information, visit the developer's page at https://hackaday.io/.