Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation and STMicroelectronics today announced an exciting design contest for engineering students based on ST’s iNEMO multi-sensor inertial measurement unit (IMU).

The aim of the contest is to show engineering students how easy sensors are to work with and help them learn how sensors can enhance their projects, improving both usefulness and usability. Designs can address applications such as man/machine interfaces, robotics, navigation, gaming and sports, remote monitoring (of industrial equipment or medical patients), and more.

ST’s iNEMO is a unique evaluation and development tool that offers 3-axis sensing of linear, angular, and magnetic motion, as well as temperature and barometer/altimeter readings along with a 32-bit microcontroller and dedicated software – all on a single, small development board. iNEMO is in stock and available for purchase on Digi-Key’s US and Canadian websites.

Each project must contain an iNEMO IMU and will be judged on the number of degrees of freedom (DoF) used, the quality of its hardware and firmware/software, the design’s novelty, its use of daughter boards, and the project’s ease of use and appeal of its user interface.

The grand-prize winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize along with an all-expense-paid trip, including airfare and accommodations for three nights, to Europe to visit the ST Development Labs in Catania, Sicily, Italy. Cash prizes of $2,500 and $1,000 will also be awarded to entrants selected as the second- and third-place winners.

Contest entrants must be currently-enrolled students, at least 18 years of age, who are residents of North American locations that do not prohibit, tax, or restrict such contests. Qualified entrants must register to participate by October 30, 2010 and will need to purchase an iNEMO development kit, containing an iNEMO eval board, a complete, professional software development toolset and appropriate cables and software for $369 (value $4500).

Completed submissions will be accepted until April 30, 2011 with winners notified by early July, 2011. Full contest rules along with instructions on how to acquire the necessary hardware are available at