Nanoscience—Insect-inspired motion sensing

Nanoscience—Insect-inspired motion sensing
Researchers at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences demonstrated an insect-inspired, mechanical gyroscope to advance motion sensing capabilities in consumer-sized applications. Credit: Jill Hemman/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S Dept. of Energy

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory took inspiration from flying insects to demonstrate a miniaturized gyroscope, a special sensor used in navigation technologies.

Gyroscopes sense rotational motions to provide directional guidance without relying on satellites, so they are immune to signal jamming and other , making them ideal for aircraft and submarines.

Integrating the devices into smaller defense and consumer electronics has been challenged by fundamental obstacles.

At micro sizes, gyroscopes' electrical components can produce noise that interferes with their operation.

To maintain performance at microscale, the team developed an all- with no on-chip .

The coin-sized design, fabricated at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, mimics halteres, the vibrating wing-like organs flying insects use to navigate.

"Our goal was to optimize cost and performance in the smallest design possible to expand the market for this technology," said ORNL's Nick Lavrik.

Nanoscience—Insect-inspired motion sensing
Researchers at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences demonstrated an insect-inspired, mechanical gyroscope to advance motion sensing capabilities in consumer-sized applications. Credit: Jill Hemman/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S Dept. of Energy

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More information: N. V. Lavrik et al. Optically read Coriolis vibratory gyroscope based on a silicon tuning fork, Microsystems & Nanoengineering (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41378-019-0087-9
Citation: Nanoscience—Insect-inspired motion sensing (2019, November 5) retrieved 18 November 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-11-nanoscienceinsect-inspired-motion.html
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