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Tiny Glass Gyros May Revolutionize Indoor Robot to Driverless Car Navigation

The inertial measurement unit includes 3 accelerometers and 3 gyroscopes, one for each spatial axis. “The complete device uses electrodes placed around the glass resonator to push and pull on the glass, making it ring and keeping it going.”

Sajal Singh, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering who helped develop the manufacturing process, reported that “Basically, the glass resonator vibrates in a certain pattern. If you suddenly rotate it, the vibrating pattern wants to stay in its original orientation. So, by monitoring the vibration pattern it is possible to directly measure rotation rate and angle.” DARPA is supporting this research.

Story and photos courtesy of: Najafi Group / U. Michigan and Futurity.org; compound image courtesy of Researchgate.net. Portrait: Dr. Najafi Khalil.