IMU Sensor Working and Its Applications

In robotics, the sensor is a key element which plays an essential role that cannot be ignored. These are very important due to their feature like they provide an interface to connect with surroundings. This is the reason they are available in different ranges for different applications. There are some commonly used sensors which include a current sensor, voltage sensor, speedometer, light sensor, and finally IMU sensor. This article discusses an overview of IMU sensor which is known as an inertial measurement unit.

What is an IMU Sensor?

The IMU sensor is an electronic device used to calculate and reports an exact force of body, angular rate as well as the direction of the body, which can be achieved by using a blend of 3 sensors like Gyroscope, Magnetometer, and Accelerometer. These sensors are normally used to plan aircraft including UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), between several others, & spacecraft, comprising landers and satellites. Modern developments permit the manufacture of IMU-based GPS devices.


These sensors let a GPS receiver to function when the signals of GPS are not available like in within buildings, tunnels, otherwise when electronic interference can be there. A WIMU is nothing but a wireless IMU sensor.

Working Principle

An IMU sensor unit working can be done by noticing linear acceleration with the help of one or additional accelerometers & rotational rate can be detected by using one or additional gyroscopes. Some also contain a magnetometer which can be used as a heading reference. This sensor includes some usual configurations which include gyro, one accelerometer, and magnetometer for each axis used for each of the 3-vehicle axes like roll, yaw, and pitch.

IMU Sensor is used for?

It measures force, magnetic field, and angular rate. These sensors include a 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. So this would be measured as a 6-axis IMU sensor. These can also comprise an extra 3-axis magnetometer, so it can be considered like a 9-axis IMU.

Officially, the name IMU is just the sensor; however, these are frequently connected with the software like sensor fusion. This sensor merges data from numerous sensors to offer heading & orientation measures. Commonly, this sensor can be used to refer to the blend of the sensor & sensor fusion software, which can also be referred to as an Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS).


The applications of MIU sensor include the following.

  • This sensor is used to determine the direction within a GPS system.
  • This sensor is used to track the motion within user electronics like cell phones, remotes of the video game.
  • This sensor is used in industries to support and calculate the location of equipment such as antennas.
  • These sensors assist in maneuver aircraft without or with a pilot.
  • IMUs are used in entertainment systems of flights and consumer airspace to add convenience within addition to contact in their remotes.
  • In the future, these can be used in GPS, RF, LiDAR which will allow precise localization of citizens, equipment, and vehicles in indoors & outdoors.

Thus, this is all about IMU sensor which can be used to calculate magnetic fields, angular velocity, and acceleration by combining with fusion software of sensor. This sensor can be used for determining heading, motion, and orientation. These are applicable in consumer electronics as well as in the industries. Here is a question for you, what are the advantages of an IMU sensor?

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