Difference between 3 axis sensor 6 axis sensor and 9 axis gyro sensor

This page compares 3 axis gyro sensor vs 6 axis gyro sensor vs 9 axis gyro sensor and mentions difference between 3 axis gyroscope, 6 axis gyroscope and 9 axis gyroscope. It mentions advantages, disadvantages and manufacturers of these sensor types.

Introduction: The gyro sensor is a device which measures angular rate or angular velocity. Angular velocity can be defined as change in rotational angle per unit of time. It is specified in units of degrees per second.

The gyroscopes or gyro sensors are used in various things such as motor boats, aircrafts, race cars, tobots, toys, cameras, smartphones, video games, quadcopters, drones, health monitors, wearable electronics (i.e. smart watches, fitness trackers), IoT applications etc.

There are different types of gyro sensors viz. 3-axis, 6-axis and 9-axis. They are used in different applications based on their measurement accuracy under various conditions.

These sensors are used to determine position of the device and its movement. These sensors can differentiate between various activities such as walking, running and swimming. Gyroscopic data in such sensors also help in three dimensional gesture recognition, motion tracking and relative positioning to other users.

All these sensors viz. 3-axis sensor, 6-axis sensor and 9-axis sensor employ one or more of the following modules i.e. accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope.
• Accelerometer : It measures linear acceleration. Accelerometer is used to measure acceleration in 3 axes. As we know gravity is form of acceleration and object at rest has downward acceleration. This fast is used to determine orientation of the system relative to "down" direction. Refer Accelerometer basics and working >>.
• Magnetometer : It measures magnetic fields. It is placed in a compass to identify magnetic field of the Earth. Magnetometer analyzes magnitude, direction and rate of change of field to find the direction of "magnetic North". Refer Magnetometer basics and working >>.
• Gyroscope : It is used to measure rotational speed which is not possible with accelerometer. Accelerometer can sense device at rest but can not detect movement. MEMS Gyroscope >>

3 axis gyro sensor

The 3 axis gyro sensor consists of three orientation sensors in three standard axis viz. pitch, yaw and roll. It is also called 3-axis gyroscope.

3-axis gyro sensor

Example part number ITG-1010 is 3-axis gyro sensor manufactured by InvenSense. Following are the technical features of 3-axis gyroscope.
➨It supports functionalities of a 3-axis gyroscope sensor.
➨It supports I2C and SPI interfaces.
➨It contains 512 byte FIFO and programmable interrupts.
➨I houses ADCs to digitize sensor outputs.
➨It houses programmable digital filters and precision clock with 1% drift.
➨It requires VDD supply voltage in the range from 1.71 to 3.6 V.

6 axis gyro sensor

The 6 axis gyro sensor consists of three standard axis (yaw, pitch and roll) along with 3-axis accelerometer. This makes total 6-axis in this device. There are 6-axis senors available which houses accelerometer and magnetometer and not gyroscope.

6-axis gyro sensor

Example part number ICM-42605 is 6-axis gyro sensor manufactured by InvenSense. Following are the technical features of 6-axis gyroscope.
➨It supports configurable host interfaces such as I2C, I3CSM and SPI.
➨It houses 2 KB FIFO.
➨It supports two programmable interrupts.
➨It offers highest stability against temperature, shock or SMT/bend induced offset.
➨It houses user programmable digital filters for accel, gyro and temp sensor.

9 axis gyro sensor

The 9-axis gyro sensor consists of 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis compass. This makes total 9-axis in this device.

9-axis gyro sensor

Example part number MPU-9250 is 9-axis gyro sensor manufactured by InvenSense. Following are the technical features of 9-axis gyroscope.
➨It houses functionalities of 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer in single module.
➨It has built-in digital motion processor.
➨It supports I2C and SPI interface.
➨It houses total nine numbers of 16 bit ADCs. The three ADCs are used to digitize gyroscope outputs, three ADCs to digitize accelerometer outputs and three ADCs to digitize magnetometer outputs.
➨Refer InvenSense data sheet for further product specifications on MPU-9250.

The manufacturers of gyro sensors of 3-axis, 6-axis and 9-axis are Kionix, Inc., InvenSense, MICRO-HYBRID ELECTRONIC GMBH, Althen, STMicroelectronics etc.

Refer advantages and disadvantages of Accelerometer >> , Magnetometer sensor >> , Gyro sensor >> and difference between Accelerometer vs Gyroscope >> for more information.


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