Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Motion Encoder System

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The Vernier Motion Encoder System is a revolutionary way for physics students to study dynamics. Based on our original Vernier Dynamics System, the Motion Encoder System adds a new optical motion encoder to record cart position.


Winner of the 2014 World Didac Award

The Vernier Motion Encoder System is a complete dynamics system with carts, track, and associated hardware, featuring a novel optical motion encoder to measure cart position.

The optical motion encoder consists of three parts: a Motion Encoder Cart with a Sensor and transmitter, a Motion Encoder Receiver that connects to your interface, and a track equipped with a Motion Encoder Strip. Together they allow unparalleled ease, simplicity, and accuracy in motion measurement.

The Motion Encoder Cart replaces the ultrasonic Motion Detector when used for dynamics cart-on-track activities. An optical sensor beneath the dynamics cart senses the passage of the cart over a marked strip on the track. The position information is sent as an encoded IR signal to a receiver at the track’s end. By avoiding the possibility of stray sound reflections, this optical-only system provides excellent, repeatable, and noise-resistant motion data.

Because the position information is relayed by a narrow IR beam, multiple Motion Encoder Cart systems can be used in a single lab without interference.

If you have ever been frustrated by the need to tweak the alignment of a motion detector, you will be pleased by the data your students collect using the Vernier Motion Encoder System.

The Motion Encoder System uses the same high-quality carts and tracks of the Vernier Dynamics System. One of the two carts is equipped for optical motion encoding, and the system includes the Motion Encoder Receiver. The track has the necessary Motion Encoder Strip in place. Everything you can do with the Vernier Dynamics System can be done with the Motion Encoder System but with the added option of easy and precise optical motion sensing.

You can add a second Motion Encoder Cart and Receiver to a Motion Encoder System, allowing your students to record the positions of two carts simultaneously. Now collision experiments to study momentum and energy are very easy to configure.

Sample Data



  • Resolution: 1 mm
  • Maximum useful data rate: 30 Hz
Download the user manual for full specifications

Experiments and Lab Ideas

Lab Ideas and Innovative Uses

Upgrade Kits

Already Own a Vernier Dynamics System?

You can purchase an upgrade kit to add a Motion Encoder Cart to your existing Vernier Dynamics System. See Motion Encoder Upgrade Kits »

Motion Encoder Cart with Receiver


“While it would be easy to dismiss all the good science taught with primitive methods, instead the simplicity, accuracy and operational speed of Vernier’s Motion Encoder System provides students not only a crystal clear insight into the nuts and bolts of motion, but also raises the bar on the subtleties and nuances of motion through actual hands-on experimentation and, if you will, science play.”

Read the review »

Compatibility Requirements

The Motion Encoder Cart Receiver may require a compatible interface and software. Choose a platform below to see compatible interface and software options.

Warning: The Motion Encoder Receiver is not compatible with the Texas Instruments TI-Nspire Lab Cradle. Connecting the Receiver to the Lab Cradle will render the Cradle inoperative, requiring repair by Texas Instruments.

What’s Included

Vernier Motion Encoder System

Vernier Motion Encoder System with Long Track

The Vernier Motion Encoder System with Long Track includes the parts listed above but substitutes a 2.2 m track for the 1.2 m track.

Ordering Information

This product is discontinued and replaced by the Dynamics Cart and Track System with Motion Encoder.


Related Products

Educational use only: Vernier products are designed for educational use. They are not appropriate for industrial, medical, or commercial applications. Product usage disclaimer »

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