Tech Explained: Gyroscopes

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There are a number of different devices used to determine the position and orientation of an object. One of the most common is the gyroscope. You may think of a gyroscope as a children’s toy. However, these devices can be found in everything from the space shuttle to shoes. So how do they work? Gyroscopes were invented in the 19th century by French physicist Jean-Bernard-Léon Foucault. In 1908, German inventor H. Anschütz-Kaempfe developed the first compass based on a gyroscope. Just one year later, this ‘gyrocompass’ was used to create the world’s first autopilot. A gyroscope consists of a freely-rotating…

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