Measuring Angular Velocity

Voyager's gyroscope measures its angular velocity. Learn how to interpret these graphs here

Measure yourself spinning

Look at the PocketLab logo on your Voyager to see the axes. Hold the PocketLab Voyager at your mid-section so the orange side is facing out and the y-axis arrow is pointing up. When you spin to the left or right, watch as the y-axis of the graph measures the rate of your rotation. What kind of gymnastics moves would you have to do to the moment of inertia measure rotation about the x- and z-axis? Next, try spinning in an office chair with your arms out, then pull them in like a figure skater and see how your rate of rotation changes.

angular velocity

Attach PocketLab to a wheel or a can of soup

Attach PocketLab Voyager to the side of a can of soup or the side of a wheel on a bike or toy car. Roll the can of soup or wheel so that the PocketLab rotates about the z-axis as it rolls.

angular velocity 2
Measure linear velocity

To find the linear velocity of a single point on the outside of the wheel as it turns, multiply the angular velocity by the radius of the wheel. To find the linear velocity of the center of the wheel, use the equation below. Can you find the linear velocity of a rolling wheel or can of soup?

angular velocity 3