Arduino Guide for MPU-6050 Accelerometer and Gyroscope Sensor

Learn how to use the MPU-6050 accelerometer and gyroscope module with the Arduino board. The MPU-6050 IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) is a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope sensor. The accelerometer measures the gravitational acceleration, and the gyroscope measures the rotational velocity. Additionally, this module also measures temperature. This sensor is ideal for determining the orientation of a moving object.

Arduino Board MPU6050 Module Accelerometer Gyroscope Temperature Sensor

We have a similar guide for the ESP32 and ESP8266 boards:

In this guide we’ll cover two examples:

  1. Get gyroscope, acceleration and temperature readings (Serial Monitor)
  2. Gyroscope and accelerometer readings on Serial Plotter
  3. Display gyroscope and acceleration readings on OLED display

Introducing the MPU-6050 Gyroscope Accelerometer Sensor

The MPU-6050 is a module with a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope.

MPU-6050 Module Accelerometer Gyroscope Temperature Sensor

The gyroscope measures rotational velocity (rad/s). This is the change of the angular position over time along the X, Y, and Z-axis (roll, pitch, and yaw). This allows us to determine the orientation of an object.

Roll Pitch Yaw Angles

The accelerometer measures acceleration (rate of change of the object’s velocity). It senses static forces like gravity (9.8m/s2) or dynamic forces like vibrations or movement. The MPU-6050 measures acceleration over the X, Y, and Z-axis. Ideally, in a static object, the acceleration over the Z-axis is equal to the gravitational force, and it should be zero on the X and Y-axis.

Using the accelerometer’s values, it is possible to calculate the roll and pitch angles using trigonometry. However, it is not possible to calculate the yaw.

We can combine the information from both sensors to get more accurate information about the sensor orientation.

MPU-6050 Pinout

Here’s the pinout for the MPU-6050 sensor module.

VCCPower the sensor (3.3V or 5V)
GNDCommon GND
SCLSCL pin for I2C communication (A5)
SDASDA pin for I2C communication (A4)
XDAUsed to interface other I2C sensors with the MPU-6050
XCLUsed to interface other I2C sensors with the MPU-6050
AD0Use this pin to change the I2C address
INTInterrupt pin – can be used to indicate that new measurement data is available

Installing Libraries

There are various ways to get readings from the sensor. In this tutorial, we’ll use the Adafruit MPU6050 library. To use this library, you also need to install the Adafruit Unified Sensor library and the Adafruit Bus IO Library.

Open your Arduino IDE and go to Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries. The Library Manager should open.

Type “adafruit mpu6050” on the search box and install the library.

Install Adafruit MPU6050 Gyroscope Accelerometer Sensor Library Arduino IDE

Then, search for “Adafruit Unified Sensor”. Scroll all the way down to find the library and install it.

Install Adafruit Unified Library Arduino IDE

Finally, search for “Adafruit Bus IO” and install it.

Install Adafruit Bus IO Library Arduino IDE

After installing the libraries, restart your Arduino IDE.

Getting MPU-6050 Sensor Readings: Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Temperature

In this section, you’ll learn how to get sensor readings from the MPU-6050 sensor: acceleration (x, y, z), angular velocity (x, y, z), and temperature.

Parts Required

For this example you need the following parts:

You can use the preceding links or go directly to MakerAdvisor.com/tools to find all the parts for your projects at the best price!

Schematic Diagram – Arduino with MPU-6050

Wire the Arduino to the MPU-6050 sensor as shown in the following schematic diagram: connect the SCL pin to A5 and the SDA pin to A4.

Arduino MPU-6050 Acclerometer Gyroscope Wiring Diagram Fritzing

Code – Getting MPU-6050 Sensor Readings: Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Temperature

The Adafruit library provides several examples for this sensor. In this section, we’ll look at a basic example that prints the Serial Monitor’s sensor readings.

Go to File > Examples > Adafruit MPU6050 > basic_readings. The following code should load.

It gets the angular velocity (gyroscope) on the x, y and z axis, the acceleration on the x, y and z axis and the temperature.

// Basic demo for accelerometer readings from Adafruit MPU6050

// ESP32 Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/esp32-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope-arduino/
// ESP8266 Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/esp8266-nodemcu-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope-arduino/
// Arduino Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/arduino-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope/

#include <Adafruit_MPU6050.h>
#include <Adafruit_Sensor.h>
#include <Wire.h>

Adafruit_MPU6050 mpu;

void setup(void) {
  Serial.begin(115200);
  while (!Serial)
    delay(10); // will pause Zero, Leonardo, etc until serial console opens

  Serial.println("Adafruit MPU6050 test!");

  // Try to initialize!
  if (!mpu.begin()) {
    Serial.println("Failed to find MPU6050 chip");
    while (1) {
      delay(10);
    }
  }
  Serial.println("MPU6050 Found!");

  mpu.setAccelerometerRange(MPU6050_RANGE_8_G);
  Serial.print("Accelerometer range set to: ");
  switch (mpu.getAccelerometerRange()) {
  case MPU6050_RANGE_2_G:
    Serial.println("+-2G");
    break;
  case MPU6050_RANGE_4_G:
    Serial.println("+-4G");
    break;
  case MPU6050_RANGE_8_G:
    Serial.println("+-8G");
    break;
  case MPU6050_RANGE_16_G:
    Serial.println("+-16G");
    break;
  }
  mpu.setGyroRange(MPU6050_RANGE_500_DEG);
  Serial.print("Gyro range set to: ");
  switch (mpu.getGyroRange()) {
  case MPU6050_RANGE_250_DEG:
    Serial.println("+- 250 deg/s");
    break;
  case MPU6050_RANGE_500_DEG:
    Serial.println("+- 500 deg/s");
    break;
  case MPU6050_RANGE_1000_DEG:
    Serial.println("+- 1000 deg/s");
    break;
  case MPU6050_RANGE_2000_DEG:
    Serial.println("+- 2000 deg/s");
    break;
  }

  mpu.setFilterBandwidth(MPU6050_BAND_5_HZ);
  Serial.print("Filter bandwidth set to: ");
  switch (mpu.getFilterBandwidth()) {
  case MPU6050_BAND_260_HZ:
    Serial.println("260 Hz");
    break;
  case MPU6050_BAND_184_HZ:
    Serial.println("184 Hz");
    break;
  case MPU6050_BAND_94_HZ:
    Serial.println("94 Hz");
    break;
  case MPU6050_BAND_44_HZ:
    Serial.println("44 Hz");
    break;
  case MPU6050_BAND_21_HZ:
    Serial.println("21 Hz");
    break;
  case MPU6050_BAND_10_HZ:
    Serial.println("10 Hz");
    break;
  case MPU6050_BAND_5_HZ:
    Serial.println("5 Hz");
    break;
  }

  Serial.println("");
  delay(100);
}

void loop() {
  /* Get new sensor events with the readings */
  sensors_event_t a, g, temp;
  mpu.getEvent(&a, &g, &temp);

  /* Print out the values */
  Serial.print("Acceleration X: ");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.x);
  Serial.print(", Y: ");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.y);
  Serial.print(", Z: ");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.z);
  Serial.println(" m/s^2");

  Serial.print("Rotation X: ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.x);
  Serial.print(", Y: ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.y);
  Serial.print(", Z: ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.z);
  Serial.println(" rad/s");

  Serial.print("Temperature: ");
  Serial.print(temp.temperature);
  Serial.println(" degC");

  Serial.println("");
  delay(500);
}

View raw code

How the Code Works

Start by including the required libraries for the MPU-6050 sensor: Adafruit_MPU6050 and Adafruit_Sensor.

#include <Adafruit_MPU6050.h>
#include <Adafruit_Sensor.h>

Create an Adafruit_MPU6050 object called mpu to handle the sensor.

Adafruit_MPU6050 mpu;

setup()

In the setup(), initialize the serial monitor at a baud rate of 115200.

Serial.begin(115200);

Initialize the MPU-6050 sensor.

if (!mpu.begin()) {
  Serial.println("Sensor init failed");
  while (1)
    yield();
}

Set the accelerometer measurement range:

mpu.setAccelerometerRange(MPU6050_RANGE_8_G);

Set the gyroscope measurement range:

mpu.setGyroRange(MPU6050_RANGE_500_DEG);

Set the filter bandwidth:

mpu.setFilterBandwidth(MPU6050_BAND_5_HZ);

loop()

In the loop() we’ll get sensor readings and display them in the Serial Monitor.

First, you need to get new sensor events with the current readings.

sensors_event_t a, g, temp;
mpu.getEvent(&a, &g, &temp);

Finally, print the readings. For the acceleration:

  • a.acceleration.x: gets acceleration on the x axis;
  • a.acceleration.y: gets acceleration on the y axis;
  • a.acceleration.z: gets acceleration on the z axis.

The acceleration is measured in meters per second square (m/s2)

Serial.print("Acceleration X: ");
Serial.print(a.acceleration.x);
Serial.print(", Y: ");
Serial.print(a.acceleration.y);
Serial.print(", Z: ");
Serial.print(a.acceleration.z);
Serial.println(" m/s^2");

To get gyroscope readings:

  • g.gyro.x: gets angular velocity on the x axis;
  • g.gyro.y: gets angular velocity on the y axis;
  • g.gyro.z: gets angular velocity on the z axis.

The angular velocity is measured in radians per seconds (rad/s).

Serial.print("Rotation X: ");
Serial.print(g.gyro.x);
Serial.print(", Y: ");
Serial.print(g.gyro.y);
Serial.print(", Z: ");
Serial.print(g.gyro.z);
Serial.println(" rad/s");

Finally, print the temperature – it is measured in Celsius degrees. To access the temperature reading, use temp.temperature.

Serial.print("Temperature: ");
Serial.print(temp.temperature);
Serial.println(" degC");

New sensor readings are displayed every 500 milliseconds.

delay(500);

Demonstration

Upload the code to the Arduino board.

Then, open the Serial Monitor at a baud rate of 115200, press the on-board RST button. The sensor measurements will be displayed.

Move the sensor orientation and see the values changing accordingly.

MPU-6050 Sensor Readings Serial Monitor Arduino IDE

Sensor Calibration

Ideally, when the sensor is static, the gyroscope values should be zero on all axis, which doesn’t happen in our case. When the sensor is static, these are the gyroscope values we get:

  • x: 0.06 rad/s
  • y: -0.02 rad/s
  • z: 0.00 rad/s

On practical applications, you need to take the error into account and correct the values in the code to get more accurate readings.

The same happens for the acceleration values. The Z-axis acceleration should be closer to the gravitational force (9,8 m/s2), and it should be closer to zero on the X and Y-axis. In our case, these are the approximate values we get when the sensor is static:

  • x: 0.71 m/s2
  • y: 0.28 m/s2
  • z: 9.43 m/s2

Display MPU-6050 Readings on Serial Plotter

There is a similar example, but with slight differences to display the readings on the Serial Plotter.

Upload the following code to your board:

// Basic demo for accelerometer readings from Adafruit MPU6050

// Arduino Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/arduino-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope/

#include <Adafruit_MPU6050.h>
#include <Adafruit_Sensor.h>
#include <Wire.h>

Adafruit_MPU6050 mpu;

void setup(void) {
  Serial.begin(115200);
  while (!Serial) {
    delay(10); // will pause Zero, Leonardo, etc until serial console opens
  }

  // Try to initialize!
  if (!mpu.begin()) {
    Serial.println("Failed to find MPU6050 chip");
    while (1) {
      delay(10);
    }
  }

  mpu.setAccelerometerRange(MPU6050_RANGE_16_G);
  mpu.setGyroRange(MPU6050_RANGE_250_DEG);
  mpu.setFilterBandwidth(MPU6050_BAND_21_HZ);
  Serial.println("");
  delay(100);
}

void loop() {

  /* Get new sensor events with the readings */
  sensors_event_t a, g, temp;
  mpu.getEvent(&a, &g, &temp);

  /* Print out the values */
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.x);
  Serial.print(",");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.y);
  Serial.print(",");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.z);
  Serial.print(", ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.x);
  Serial.print(",");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.y);
  Serial.print(",");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.z);
  Serial.println("");

  delay(10);
}

View raw code

After uploading the code, in the Arduino IDE go to Tools > Serial Plotter.

The Serial Plotter displays the accelerometer and the gyroscope readings on the X, Y, and Z-axis over time. Move the sensor in different ways and see how the values change.

Arduino MPU-6050 Accelerometer and Gyroscope Serial Plotter Example

Display MPU-6050 Readings on OLED Display

Arduino Board MPU6050 Module Accelerometer Gyroscope Temperature Sensor Module Parts Required

The Adafruit MPU6050 library provides an example that displays the MPU-6050 gyroscope and accelerometer readings on an OLED display.

Parts Required

Here’s the parts required to complete this example:

You can use the preceding links or go directly to MakerAdvisor.com/tools to find all the parts for your projects at the best price!

Schematic Diagram – Arduino with MPU-6050 and OLED Display

Wire all the parts as shown in the following schematic diagram. Because the OLED display and the MPU-6050 sensors use different I2C addresses, we can connect them to the same I2C bus (same pins on the Arduino board).

Arduino MPU-6050 Gyroscope Accelerometer Sensor with OLED Display Fritzing Wiring Diagram

Learn more about using the OLED display with the Arduino: Guide for I2C OLED Display with Arduino

Code – Display MPU-6050 Sensor Readings on OLED Display

To use this example, make sure you have the Adafruit SSD1306 library installed. This library can be installed through the Arduino Library Manager.

Go to Sketch > Library > Manage Libraries and search for “SSD1306” and install the SSD1306 library from Adafruit.

Install Library I2C OLED Display SSD1306 Arduino IDE

For this example, copy the following code or go to File > Examples > Adafruit MPU6050 > MPU6050_oled.

// Basic OLED demo for accelerometer readings from Adafruit MPU6050

// ESP32 Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/esp32-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope-arduino/
// ESP8266 Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/esp8266-nodemcu-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope-arduino/
// Arduino Guide: https://RandomNerdTutorials.com/arduino-mpu-6050-accelerometer-gyroscope/

#include <Adafruit_MPU6050.h>
#include <Adafruit_SSD1306.h>
#include <Adafruit_Sensor.h>

Adafruit_MPU6050 mpu;
Adafruit_SSD1306 display = Adafruit_SSD1306(128, 64, &Wire);

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(115200);
  // while (!Serial);
  Serial.println("MPU6050 OLED demo");

  if (!mpu.begin()) {
    Serial.println("Sensor init failed");
    while (1)
      yield();
  }
  Serial.println("Found a MPU-6050 sensor");

  // SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC = generate display voltage from 3.3V internally
  if (!display.begin(SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC, 0x3C)) { // Address 0x3C for 128x64
    Serial.println(F("SSD1306 allocation failed"));
    for (;;)
      ; // Don't proceed, loop forever
  }
  display.display();
  delay(500); // Pause for 2 seconds
  display.setTextSize(1);
  display.setTextColor(WHITE);
  display.setRotation(0);
}

void loop() {
  sensors_event_t a, g, temp;
  mpu.getEvent(&a, &g, &temp);

  display.clearDisplay();
  display.setCursor(0, 0);

  Serial.print("Accelerometer ");
  Serial.print("X: ");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.x, 1);
  Serial.print(" m/s^2, ");
  Serial.print("Y: ");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.y, 1);
  Serial.print(" m/s^2, ");
  Serial.print("Z: ");
  Serial.print(a.acceleration.z, 1);
  Serial.println(" m/s^2");

  display.println("Accelerometer - m/s^2");
  display.print(a.acceleration.x, 1);
  display.print(", ");
  display.print(a.acceleration.y, 1);
  display.print(", ");
  display.print(a.acceleration.z, 1);
  display.println("");

  Serial.print("Gyroscope ");
  Serial.print("X: ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.x, 1);
  Serial.print(" rps, ");
  Serial.print("Y: ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.y, 1);
  Serial.print(" rps, ");
  Serial.print("Z: ");
  Serial.print(g.gyro.z, 1);
  Serial.println(" rps");

  display.println("Gyroscope - rps");
  display.print(g.gyro.x, 1);
  display.print(", ");
  display.print(g.gyro.y, 1);
  display.print(", ");
  display.print(g.gyro.z, 1);
  display.println("");

  display.display();
  delay(100);
}

View raw code

How the Code Works

Start by including the required libraries for the MPU-6050 sensor and for the OLED display.

#include <Adafruit_MPU6050.h>
#include <Adafruit_SSD1306.h>
#include <Adafruit_Sensor.h>

Create an Adafruit_MPU6050 object called mpu to handle the sensor.

Adafruit_MPU6050 mpu;

Create an Adafruit_SSD1306 object called display to handle the OLED display. This is for a display with 128×64 pixels.

Adafruit_SSD1306 display = Adafruit_SSD1306(128, 64, &Wire);

setup()

In the setup(), initialize the serial monitor at a baud rate of 115200.

Serial.begin(115200);

Initialize the MPU-6050 sensor.

if (!mpu.begin()) {
  Serial.println("Sensor init failed");
  while (1)
    yield();
}

Initialize the OLED display.

// SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC = generate display voltage from 3.3V internally
if (!display.begin(SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC, 0x3C)) { // Address 0x3C for 128x64
  Serial.println(F("SSD1306 allocation failed"));
  for (;;)
    ; // Don't proceed, loop forever
}
display.display();

Set the font size and color for the display.

display.setTextSize(1);
display.setTextColor(WHITE);
display.setRotation(0);

loop()

In the loop() is where we’ll get the sensor readings and display them on the OLED.

Start by creating events for each measurement, accelerometer, gyroscope and temperature.

sensors_event_t a, g, temp;

Get new sensor readings.

mpu.getEvent(&a, &g, &temp);

Clear the display in each loop() to write new readings.

display.clearDisplay();

Set the display cursor to (0,0) – the upper left corner. It will start writing text from that location.

display.setCursor(0, 0);

The following lines print the accelerometer readings in the Serial Monitor.

Serial.print("Accelerometer ");
Serial.print("X: ");
Serial.print(a.acceleration.x, 1);
Serial.print(" m/s^2, ");
Serial.print("Y: ");
Serial.print(a.acceleration.y, 1);
Serial.print(" m/s^2, ");
Serial.print("Z: ");
Serial.print(a.acceleration.z, 1);
Serial.println(" m/s^2");

The following lines display the acceleration x, y an z values on the OLED display.

display.println("Accelerometer - m/s^2");
display.print(a.acceleration.x, 1);
display.print(", ");
display.print(a.acceleration.y, 1);
display.print(", ");
display.print(a.acceleration.z, 1);
display.println("");

Display the gyroscope readings on the Serial Monitor.

Serial.print("Gyroscope ");
Serial.print("X: ");
Serial.print(g.gyro.x, 1);
Serial.print(" rps, ");
Serial.print("Y: ");
Serial.print(g.gyro.y, 1);
Serial.print(" rps, ");
Serial.print("Z: ");
Serial.print(g.gyro.z, 1);
Serial.println(" rps");

Finally, print the gyroscope readings on the display.

display.println("Gyroscope - rps");
display.print(g.gyro.x, 1);
display.print(", ");
display.print(g.gyro.y, 1);
display.print(", ");
display.print(g.gyro.z, 1);
display.println("");

Lastly, call display.display() to actually show the readings on the OLED.

display.display();

New readings are displayed every 100 milliseconds.

delay(100);

Demonstration

Upload the code to your Arduino board.

Open the Serial Monitor at a baud rate of 115200, press the on-board RST button. The sensor measurements will be displayed both on the Serial Monitor and the OLED display.

Arduino Board MPU6050 Module Accelerometer Gyroscope Temperature Sensor Demonstration

Move the sensor and see the values changing.

MPU-6050 Sensor Readings OLED Example Serial Monitor

Wrapping Up

The MPU-6050 is an accelerometer and gyroscope. It measures acceleration on the X, Y, and Z-axis as well as angular velocity. This module also measures temperature.

This sensor module communicates via the I2C communication protocol. So, the wiring is straightforward. Just connect the sensor to the Arduino I2C pins.

In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to wire the sensor and get sensor readings. We hope you’ve found this getting started guide useful. We have guides for other popular sensors:

Learn more about the Arduino with our resources:

Thanks for reading.



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5 thoughts on “Arduino Guide for MPU-6050 Accelerometer and Gyroscope Sensor”

  1. Great Project!

    I just wanted to know how do I convert the gyroscope reading from radians / second to radians only?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi.
      You have to calculate the difference between the last gyroscope measure and multiply by the elapsed time.
      Regards,
      Sara

      Reply
    • Hi.
      Check that the connections are correct.
      Additionally, you can also check the I2C address of the sensor.
      Regards,
      Sara

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Clive Cancel reply

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