Small, precise and affordable gyroscope for navigating without GPS

A small, inexpensive and highly accurate gyroscope, developed at the University of Michigan, could help drones and autonomous cars stay on track without a GPS signal.

“Our gyroscope is 10,000 times more accurate but only 10 times more expensive than gyroscopes used in your typical cell phones. This gyroscope is 1,000 times less expensive than much larger gyroscopes with similar performance,” said Khalil Najafi, the Schlumberger Professor of Engineering at U-M and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Most smartphones contain gyroscopes to detect the orientation of the screen and help figure out which way we’re facing, but their accuracy is poor. They’re the reason why phones often incorrectly indicate which direction a user is facing during navigation.