tracking movement (not camera)

i’ve searched on google and this forum for some insight but to no avail, perhaps i’m not sure what to search for, so i apologize in advance if this question has been posed and answered before.

my idea is to that when the user moves the arduino in space, the position would be tracked on screen.

similar to the pixel roller http://www.random-international.com/pixelroller-overview/. the pixel roller can move forwards and backwards but remembers it’s position on screen in order to draw the picture.

how did they achieve that? accelerometer? compass? something else i’m not aware that exists?

does this make sense? any help or nudge in the right direction would be much appreciated.

thanks in advance.
Ken

My guess is they are measuring roller revolutions (that clicking sound?), and detecting roller tilt with accelerometers. Ask them, their email is at the bottom of the page you linked to.

good idea. i wrote them, hopefully they'll write back.

if anyone has any idea how to achieve this though, please let me know.

i've been reading a little about IR distance sensors, but it seems complicated.

Ken