If you've ever ordered and wire up a 9-DOF sensor, chances are you've also realized the challenge of turning the sensor data from an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer into actual "3D space orientation"! Orientation is a hard problem to solve. The sensor fusion algorithms (the secret sauce that blends accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope data into stable three-axis orientation output) can be mind-numbingly difficult to get right and implement on low cost real time systems.
Bosch is the first company to get this right by taking a MEMS accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope and putting them on a single die with a high speed ARM Cortex-M0 based processor to digest all the sensor data, abstract the sensor fusion and real time requirements away, and spit out data you can use in quaternions, Euler angles or vectors.
Rather than spending weeks or months fiddling with algorithms of varying accuracy and complexity, you can have meaningful sensor data in minutes thanks to the BNO055 - a smart 9-DOF sensor that does the sensor fusion all on its own! You can read the data right over I2C.
The BNO055 can output the following sensor data:
Comes assembled and tested, with a small piece of header. Some soldering is required to attach the header to the breakout PCB.
Adafruit Learn Link: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-bno055-absolute-orientation-sensor/overview
Arduino Library: https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_BNO055
Adafruit Product Page: https://www.adafruit.com/products/2472