Let's Make Robots!

gyroscope source recommendations?

Hi all, searching the site didn't give me much on gyros aside from the MEMS gyro sensors.  I'm interested in good old fashioned spinning chunks of metal :-).  I guess these could also be called flywheels, though ultimately I'm aiming for a gimbal mount active gyro.  Anyone work much with them in robotics projects?  

I'm designing a robot and trying to get a handle how much help they can provide to balance something tall and heavy... e.g. if I use a 20lb gyro at X RPM how much torque could it provide, etc.  

At this point I'm just curious how to find a good source for one - google isn't much help with all the gyro chips used in electronics these days mudding the search results :)

Anyway, thought y'all might have some ideas.


P.s. Yes I know it's hard/awkward/expensive/silly etc so don't need to be talked into MEMS approach - but thanks! ;)

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FYI some inspiring gyro research for biped turning control: http://www.me.utexas.edu/~lsentis/files/gyro-asme-design.pdf Video on YouTube for gyrobot I think... And yet another robotics crew in Austin using control moment gyros.. Awesome, anyone know them? :) http://www.awesomefoundation.org/en/projects/20483-control-moment-gyroscope-for-robotics What is it about Austin??

of when the spinning-mass gyro is the only solution.


probably worth reading if you want to build something like that.

As has been previously said, the mechanical gyroscope is a nightmare for robotics. I suspect it will also be much more expensive. Unless you are going for a steampunk look then uses a solid state gyro.

Might be worth a read about this little setup;


Self assembling and spinning mass moving...


Thanks for the tip and suggestions guys. It's partly curiosity to try the mechanical approach of course :). More to come as I get my hands dirty... Keep comments coming, though I'm not interested in solid state approach .. At least not in this thread. TJ

I'd be willing to bet a lot of money, it would be a lot easier to use a little MEMS gyro and some actuators to keep your robot steady than getting a heavy mechanical gyro to do it.

I think mecanical gyros are cool but the few I've looked at are really expensive.

Edit: There are some cool YouTube video of homemade gyros. Here's one. No one took my bet, right?

A spinning mass will just require more power for stabilization. The MEMS gyros will require finesse and much less power. I will leave off the fact your sanity will still be intact due to the lack of noise from the MEMS gyro. :D

If you google "mechanical gyroscope" or "mechanical gyryscope stabilizer" you will get lots of hits.

I don't think torque is what you are after.  Kinetic energy is what you are looking for.  I won't go through the derivations, there ar plenty of websites for that.  But the radius, mass, and angular velocity determine how much kinetic energy the spinning mass has.  That then determines how much energy it takes to move it.  Google is your friend.