How Things Work: How Does A MEMS Gyroscope Work?
A MEMS (or Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) designation is used for many micro sensors including accelerometers and gyroscopes. Gyroscopes measure the roll, pitch, and yaw. A chip with both an accelerometer and gyroscope will produce a 6-axis IMU (inertial Measurement Unity). Modern micro gyroscopes use a number of “proof” masses vibrating with equal magnitude in opposite directions (driven). As the gyroscope rotates, Coriolis forces act on the masses which are used to determine some of the motion. Other motion is detected using small fins and differential capacitors (similar to an accelerometer).