What Is An IMU?

An inertial measurement unit (IMU) is a device that measures the three-axis attitude angle and acceleration of an object. Normally, an IMU contains three single-axis gyroscopes and three single-axis accelerometers. The accelerometer detects the acceleration signal of the object in the independent three-axis coordinate system of the carrier, while the gyroscope detects the angular velocity signal of the carrier relative to the navigation coordinate system. , To measure the angular velocity and acceleration of the object in three-dimensional space, and to calculate the posture of the object. It has very important application value in navigation.

Theoretical mechanics tells us that all motion can be decomposed into a linear motion and a rotational motion, and this inertial measurement unit is used to measure these two motions. The linear motion can be measured by the accelerometer, and the rotary motion can be measured by the gyroscope. The wonderful combination of the two makes the inertial measurement unit come into being.

Equipping more sensors for each axis in the IMU can improve its reliability. Generally speaking, the IMU should be installed on the center of gravity of the object to be measured. IMUs are mostly used in equipment that requires motion control, such as cars and robots. It is also often used in occasions that require precise displacement estimation with attitude, such as inertial navigation equipment for submarines, airplanes, missiles and spacecraft.

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