How to connect and test FreeIMU v0.4 with Arduino and the FreeIMU library

Submitted by fabio on Tue, 2012-04-17 10:31.

One of the FreeIMU users, who bought one of our production run FreeIMU boards, shipped me his board as a faulty one. We promptly shipped him a replacement board but when I tested his board I found out that it was working perfectly.

This motivated me enough to record this video (actually using exactly his board) showing you how to correctly connect a FreeIMU board and testing it with the FreeIMU library.

FreeIMU v0.4: getting ready for assembling

Last updated on Sun, 2012-03-04 21:00. Originally submitted by fabio on 2012-02-09 17:06.

Just a quick update on the FreeIMU v0.4 production. We've finally received all the components needed to start the assembling. Yes, also the MPU6050 :-)

In this video I show you our nicely panelized design with all the various reels needed for factory production.

Here is a more detailed picture of our panel:

FreeIMU v0.4 production panel

MultiWii support for FreeIMU v0.4 and MPU6050

Submitted by fabio on Sun, 2012-01-08 14:33.

Thanks to myself, timecop and Alexinparis, FreeIMU v0.4 and its MPU6050 are now supported in MultiWii. At the moment, the code doesn't use the DMP due to the lack of documentation for it. The MPU6050 I2C master features are instead used, so the magnetometer is now read directly from the MPU6050.

Code available on MultiWii SVN:
Development discussion:
FreeIMU project:

Initial tests with FreeIMU v0.4 and MPU6050

Submitted by fabio on Sat, 2011-11-05 11:10.

I've been playing with FreeIMU v0.4 and its MPU6050 for some initial testing. I used the code that Noah Zerkin shared on a previous post (thanks Noah!) which supports 6DOM accelerometer+gyroscope on chip DMP sensor fusion and changed it slightly to output quaternion data as expected by the FreeIMU_cube Processing sketch in the FreeIMU library. Programs used for this tests are attached at the end of this page.

The result (see video below) has been very successful. 6DOM sensor fusion looks pretty good. It remains to be tested the 9DOM sensor fusion and it's integration with the HMC5883L: I suspect this will be quite an headache.. I'll let you know.

Scoping SDA and SCL I2C signals showed pretty solid signals. I've been also testing the MS5611 barometer on FreeIMU without any issue (not on video).

FreeIMU v0.4.1: first prototype built

Submitted by fabio on Mon, 2011-10-31 10:58.

I'm back to developing stuff.. And I can already show you something cool.. here is the very first FreeIMU v0.4.1 prototype, featuring MPU6050, HMC5883L, MS5611. Testing it next days.

FreeIMU v0.4.1 First prototype

MPU6050: finally?

Submitted by fabio on Fri, 2011-09-16 12:01.

You know the MPU6050, right? The 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope capable of 9 DOM on chip orientation sensing with a 3rd party magnetometer, right? If not, here is all the info you need.

Well, Invensense guys (the company who produces them) have been doing marketing for more than a year now but its availability has been delayed for many times.. Personally, I think this was just a marketing move, they actually never had the sensors they were just saying they would have had soon, so that they would create hype and interest around their product.

However, sooner or later they needed to deliver something as I'm sure that with this strange marketing approach there are many projects out there which are waiting for that sensor to be available.. not good.

Well, it finally seems they'll start to deliver the sensors. They just press released news of commencement of high volume shipments of the MPU-6050.

So, it looks like we'll finally see this "good on paper" sensor finally implemented in some projects.

Personally, I've been able to get 15 MPU-6050 through some very helpful friends (who got them from cdiweb) so experimentation on this sensor will start soon. FreeIMU v0.4 PCB are already here and ready to be soldered.

It will take some time though...

MPU6050 bags

MPU6000 and MPU6050 delayed again!

Submitted by fabio on Wed, 2011-07-13 16:39.

Bad news for those who were waiting for the MPU6000 and MPU6050 from Invensense., the Invensense's EU distributor of has just notified their customers on list for the MPU60X0 sensors, thus also myself, that:

Dear customers,

Macnica received the updated situation of MPU-6000 and MPU-6050 deliveries from InvenSense.

We have been informed that MPU-6000 and MPU-6050 will have to be pushed out once again:

MPU-6000 25nd of August

MPU-6000 Eval board 25nd of August

MPU-6050 10th of August

MPU-6050 Eval board 10th of August

We all expected to receive the goods as soon as possible in order to arrange the deliveries to our customers within the shortest possible period of time.

We kindly ask for your understanding and are thankful for your patience.

Best regards,

Macnica GmbH

This delays has been going on for at least 6 months now, while Invensense continue marketing their wonderful sensors but still keeping delaying them.. the question which arises, at least in my head, is.. do they really have what they are promising?

We will know.. Meanwhile, fortunately there are already very good solutions for orientation sensing.

Invensense Webinar

Submitted by fabio on Fri, 2011-05-13 14:21.

I just received the following email. May be a good opportunity to understand something about the MPU6050 and the Invensense motion library. I submitted my registration which is now pending approval from the organizers (WTF? Seriously?).

Btw, see you there, I may record a video of the webinar.

InvenSense Live Webinar: Introducing the world's first MotionApps™ Platform

Dear InvenSense Developers,

We would like to cordially invite you to join our first Webinar on Tuesday, May 17th.

The live webinar introduces the InvenSense Embedded MotionApps™ Platform (Embedded MPL), optimized for Microcontroller based applications that is currently featured on our re-launched Developers Corner. The Webinar will conclude with a collaborative Q&A session with experts from the MotionApps Engineering team to help support your application development.

We will be offering the Webinar at two different time slots. For more information and to register please click on the links below.

Please choose from the following times:

Tuesday May 17th

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM P.D.T
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM P.D.T

Early registration is encouraged, as space is limited.

We hope to see you there!
InvenSense, Inc.

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Bad news for the MPU6000 and MPU6050

Submitted by fabio on Thu, 2011-05-05 15:30.

I just received this message from, one of Invensense EU distributors:

We received an update from InvenSense in regards to the upcoming deliveries of MPU-6000/6050. The situation does not look good since they have completely sold out those parts and currently experience a shortage, which makes them unable to ship any quantities until July timeframe.

InvenSense informed us about the existing situation and unfortunately, due to this fact, we would not be able to deliver these parts on time. Currently, InvenSense noticed that all parts would be delivered in our Munich warehouse around the 2nd week of July'11. Macnica tried to provide any of MPU products from other distributors worldwide, however the situation looks everywhere the same.

Looks like InvenSense sold every MPU60X0 to the Nintendo and Sony guys and left us small hackers without access to them. We will have to wait.

Meanwhile, if you have any news about these sensors and their availability, please leave a comment below! Thanks!

A libre breakout board for the Invensense MPU6050

Last updated on Sat, 2011-10-15 13:18. Originally submitted by fabio on 2011-01-20 11:04.

I just finished designing a breakout board for the upcoming Invensense MPU6050. The chip has a gyroscope and a accelerometer and it's capable of polling data from a third party magnetometer (or any other i2c device).

On the various press launches about this chip you might read that it does sensor fusion on chip.. personally, I'm still skeptical about that as the same has been told about the IMU3000 but so far nothing about that is described on the IMU3000 datasheet.

A comment on Sparkfun's Digital IMU breakout of the IMU300, by Hypernova, perfectly describe my feelings: