2. Used to maintain equilibrium, to determine direction, etc.
A gyroscope is a mechanical or an optical tool which is used to maintain orientation during motion.
A mechanical gyroscope consists of a rapidly spinning wheel set in a framework that permits it to tilt freely in any direction or to rotate around any axis.
An optical gyroscope, laser or fiber, measures the interference pattern generated by two light beams, traveling in opposite directions inside a mirrored ring or fiber loop, in order to detect very small changes in motion.
Gyroscopes are utilized in compasses, in automatic pilots on ships and aircraft, in the steering mechanisms of torpedoes, in antiroll equipment on large ships, and in inertial guidance systems or resistance of objects to any changes in their status of motion.