Currently many phones have accelerometers that can be used for determining pitch, roll and yaw.  The newest phones have a “gyroscope”, which is like the accelerometers, but are better at determining the acceleration of your phone, but also provide other 

For an explanation of what a solid state gyroscope does, take a look at the IEEE paper at:

The article was written in 2003, but gives a fairly accurate picture of the way a “solid state” gyro works and it is brief.

If you want to go through the process of using a gyro chip in an embedded system, you would want to take a look at the Accelerometer and Gyro Tutorial:

Learn what a Kalman filter is (this is an important piece of knowledge for working with gyroscopes):



  • Learn about Gyros so you can use them in augmented reality (AR), my colleague Kenny Spade is working on this in Northern California so keep an eye on him, if you can attend one of his talks, make sure you do.
  • Make a new kind of game device, these could be used in some kind of fun items for people to use
  • Build a self balancing skateboard (I could use one of these)
  • Aids for people with balance issues such as people who struggle with MS, maybe improvement on the cane
  • Build a homebuilt Segway using two drills (hint: cost is about $200 for the Drills and wheels, then you have to buy the electronics, but it appears to be worthwhile, or if you are really smart you could use your SmartPhone):
  • Use for thesis projects