Look up! Have you noticed the increasing numbers of drones buzzing up in the sky these days? Most of these devices are toy quadcopters with low or no intelligence. However, there is a clear trend towards additional functionality that increases the controllability and by that the fun factor of such drones. Examples are an auto level mode for maintaining the drone's horizontal orientation, a constant altitude mode, or an orbit mode for circling around a specific point. All these added features rely on higher performance inertial and barometric pressure sensors to achieve an optimal user experience and – especially for commercial drones – an increasing grade of reliability.


Bosch Sensortec offers an extensive portfolio of sensors ideally suited for meeting the specifications required for raising drone applications to a new level. These include, for example, a gyroscope with extremely low output signal drift even under fluctuating temperature conditions. The fundamental advantage comes from the technology utilized by the sensors: a combination of advanced MEMS technology and a very robust “closed loop” analog-to-digital conversion mechanism. Both technologies are derived from Bosch’s expertise in developing safety-relevant system products for the automotive industry.


Read more about this topic in the case study "a game of drones"



Bosch MEMS sensor inside: Pixhawk® 4 – the flight controller for drone developers

Zurich – June 26, 2018: Pixhawk announces the general availability of Pixhawk 4 – a flight controller for developers featuring Bosch Sensortec’s Inertial Measurement Unit BMI055.

Pixhawk 4 is the first flight controller product based on the Pixhawk FMUv5 standard. Auterion and Holybro both contributed to the standard. The Pixhawk 4 is powered by the low-noise IMU BMI055 from Bosch Sensortec. It allows developers to go beyond of what is possible today and focus on building the best flight algorithms while maintaining confidence in precision control. The full description of the technical data is available here .

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The following sensors are ideal for next-generation drone applications



The BMP388 is a very small, low-power and highly accurate absolute barometric pressure sensor. The sensor enables accurate altitude tracking and is specifically suited for drone applications.


The BMI088 is a high-performance Inertial Measurement Unit specifically designed for drone and robotics applications.


The BMI055 is a 6-axis inertial sensor which provides inherently very high vibration robustness and low temperature drifts due to its closed loop gyro technology, making it a perfect fit for drone applications. It consists of a triaxial acceleration sensor and a triaxial 16-bit, ±2000°/s gyroscope.


The BMI160 is a 6-axis inertial sensor available in a compact 14-pin 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.8 mm³ LGA package, comprising of a triaxial 16-bit acceleration sensor and a triaxial 16-bit, ±2000°/s gyroscope. Besides outstanding vibration robustness, it incorporates a sensor time feature, i.e. an internal timer enabling highly accurate readout of synchronized sensor data from the gyroscope and accelerometer, plus a capability to integrate a magnetometer via a secondary interface.



The BMF055 is a 9-axis inertial sensor (accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer). It features an integrated Cortex M0+ microcontroller which can, for instance, control four motors using PWM signals. A reference example on how to build a drone using this BMF055 combo sensor device can be found here.


The BMP280 is an absolute barometric pressure sensor, housed in an extremely compact package. Based on Bosch’s proven Piezo-resistive pressure sensor technology, this sensor features high accuracy and linearity, and unrivaled unparalleled long-term stability.


BMM150 is a low power and low noise 3-axis digital geomagnetic sensor to be used in compass applications. Due to the stable performance over a large temperature range, the BMM150 is also especially suited for supporting drones in accurate heading.