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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 7490870, 10 pages
Research Article

Exploiting Performance of Different Low-Cost Sensors for Small Amplitude Oscillatory Motion Monitoring: Preliminary Comparisons in View of Possible Integration

Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy

Received 30 December 2015; Revised 27 April 2016; Accepted 16 May 2016

Academic Editor: Eugenio Martinelli

Copyright © 2016 Elisa Benedetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We address the problem of low amplitude oscillatory motion detection through different low-cost sensors: a LIS3LV02DQ MEMS accelerometer, a Microsoft Kinect v2 range camera, and a uBlox 6 GPS receiver. Several tests were performed using a one-direction vibrating table with different oscillation frequencies (in the range 1.5–3 Hz) and small challenging amplitudes (0.02 m and 0.03 m). A Mikrotron EoSens high-resolution camera was used to give reference data. A dedicated software tool was developed to retrieve Kinect v2 results. The capabilities of the VADASE algorithm were employed to process uBlox 6 GPS receiver observations. In the investigated time interval (in the order of tens of seconds) the results obtained indicate that displacements were detected with the resolution of fractions of millimeters with MEMS accelerometer and Kinect v2 and few millimeters with uBlox 6. MEMS accelerometer displays the lowest noise but a significant bias, whereas Kinect v2 and uBlox 6 appear more stable. The results suggest the possibility of sensor integration both for indoor (MEMS accelerometer + Kinect v2) and for outdoor (MEMS accelerometer + uBlox 6) applications and seem promising for structural monitoring applications.