Intro to Gyros

Tags: Connect, Inspire, Think, Software, Outreach, and tips
Personhours: 90
Intro to Gyros By Caitlin, Tycho, Max, Omar, and Jayesh and Darshan

Task: Share what we've learned about motion sensing

On July 11th we gave a talk for a classroom full of adult members of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) where we shared what we've learned and are still learning about motion sensors, particularly gyros. The talk took place at the Dallas Makerspace. Our thanks to DPRG, Steve and Doug for hosting us and recording and editing the video. The presentation slides can be downloaded here. We hope this helps other FTC teams who are exploring the same subject.


We are fairly happy with how the presentation went. We made a few mistakes and omissions in our talk and could improve our delivery. We should probably have added one last slide of "dos and don'ts" to make it simpler for teams that are just starting with gyros, so we'll do that in a follow-up post.

Our assessment of the quality of the gyro in the 2nd gen Moto G isn't a first hand assessment, as we don't actually own a Moto G. But if you Google the gyro on the Moto G you'll see stuff like this:

So it seems that using this phone with Google Cardboard leads to a very jerky experience that probably means difficulty using it on a robot. But it's also possible that the gyro is fine and it's the built-in sensor fusion with the accelerometers and magnetometers that is the problem. We are interested in feedback from other teams that have this phone to see what they think of its gyro. We know of at least one other team that is planning to test this phone's gyro.

We are also interested in feedback from other teams on which external gyro they plan to use. The easy choice is the hitechnic gyro that we've mostly used in the past. But the truth is that it is a very drifty gyro and there are probably better choices out there now. We are looking at a few ourselves and plan to post the results.

We estimate we've put about 90 person hours over 3 meets and a lot of homework into this presentation. And that doesn't count the time we've put into actually learning how to use gyros from sensing through to control. If we'd spent even half that time working on our FTC judging presentation last year we'd be in much better shape. We learned of some teams at the South Super Regional that spent much more time practicing their presentations. We have to learn how to set aside time in the weeks leading up to competition when our focus has been only on the robot.

Written on July 22, 2015