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Archive for MEMS

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GPS Without Satellites

Current GPS systems rely on radio signals from satellites to perform their location determining calculations. When the radio signal is not available, the system cannot work. Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) gyroscopes work like a tiny Foucault pendulum but with a vibrating element that can detect rotational changes. These small gyroscopes and accelerometors form the core of […]

Micro Robot Dragonfly

Students from Texas Tech University have won the “Novel Design” category in the “MEMS University Alliance Design Competition” sponsored by Sandia National Labs with a design for a dust mite sized dragonfly. “MEMS” stands for Micro Electro Mechanical Systems and deals with the technology of very small electro mechanical devices. MICROBOTIC Dragonfly – [sandia.gov] I. […]

Navigation: Clocks and Compasses

The history of navigation tools is about clocks, compasses and sextants. Navigating requires knowledge about where you are and where you want to go. Early navigation probably involved short, local trips, where there was no need to know your precise location and only a direction was needed to aim for some destination. This could be […]

MEMS Gyroscopes

MEMS gyroscopes are very small, cheap gyroscopes that use a vibrating element to detect any change in their orientation. MEMS Gyroscopes – [nanogloss.com] Enabling a device to orient itself and respond to movement, MEMS gyroscopes have produced the next big technological splash: touch-triggered screens. This is what gives devices like the iPhone their interactive edge. […]

1817 – gyroscope

A gyroscope is a device that can maintain a directional orientation because it is spinning rapidly and the axis of the spin resists being changed. A spinning top is a simple example. The first known gyroscope was documented by Johann Bohnenberger in 1817. In 1851 Leon Foucault demonstrated the Foucault pendulum and in 1852, coined […]