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Applications of the Gyroscope Sensor Compared to the Accelerometer

Applications of the Gyroscope Sensor Compared to the Accelerometer Posted on February 27, 2015

There are many variations of different sensory devices used in technology and other industries today to determine the position and orientation of a particular object. There are two very common and popular devices that provide these sensors. One is the accelerometer and the other is the gyroscope sensor.

These two devices serve similar purposes while measuring different aspects of movement, speed, and force. It is common today to combine the two into a single device, allowing them to produce a wide and powerful range of information.


A gyroscope sensor uses the gravity of the Earth as an aspect to determine the orientation of an object. The design of this device consists of a rotating disk consisting of a rotor, axis, and wheel. The rotor, which is able to rotate freely, is mounted onto a spinning axis in the center of a large and stable wheel. The rotor remains stationary as the axis turns, making it able to indicate the central gravitational pull, which, in turn, makes it able to indicate which way is down.

The Differences Between the Accelerometer and the Gyroscope Sensor

Although these devices may provide similar information, the main difference between the two is quite simple. The gyroscope uses angular momentum for its measurements while the accelerometer uses vibration.

The accelerometer is able to gauge the orientation of any stationary object in relation to the Earth’s surface. However, when acceleration occurs in a specific direction, this device is not able to distinguish between the acceleration provided through the gravitational pull of the Earth and the gravitational pull provided by the object.

The gyroscope, on the other hand, is able to measure the rate of rotation around any particular axis. This sensor uses the key principles of angular momentum to indicate orientation of a specific object. For example, in gauging the rate of rotation around the roll axis of a plane, it will identify an actual value until the plane stabilizes.


The three main applications for the gyroscope sensor:

* Angular velocity sensing. This application is used to sense the amount of angular velocity produced by an object and measures the amount of motion itself.
* Angle sensing which senses angular velocity that is produced by the sensor’s own movement. The angle is fed to, and reflected in, an existing application.
* Control mechanisms. These sense vibrations that are produced by external factors, and transmit the vibration data to a CPU as electrical signals.

In addition to these general applications, vibration gyroscope sensors have been introduced as shake detection systems for compact cameras and video recorders, as well as motion sensors for video games, and even anti-skid control systems in vehicles.

The vibration gyroscope sensor is an emerging new technology. Demand for this technology is expected to grow, specifically due to its use in robot motion control, vehicle driver safety, and support systems.

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