The majority of acceleration/tilt sensors used these days are single integrated circuits MEMS devices. The cheap ones are made for air bag and other high volume applications. Although the chips are cheap ($5-10 Retail,<$1 in quantity), they are usually sold in surface mount packages that are inconvenient to work with without industrial quality tools. A cottage industry has grown repackaging these useful chips on small circuit boards that are easier to work with. This note reviews these readily available alternatives and also explores another affordable option: repurposing complete assemblies that integrate inertial sensors such as the Wii and Nunchuck controllers.

BBQ lunch at CNMAT (vegetarian options available): John and Rimas
<h2>What precision do you need?</h2> We will just be considering moderate-quality 3-axis sensors in this note. You can get faster and higher precision sensors from sparkfun from $35 and up.