9DoF Razor IMU M0 Hookup Guide

Contributors: Jimb0
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The SparkFun 9DoF Razor IMU M0 combines a SAMD21 microprocessor with an MPU-9250 9DoF (nine degrees of freedom) sensor to create a tiny, re-programmable, multi-purpose inertial measurement unit (IMU). It can be programmed to monitor and log motion, transmit Euler angles over a serial port, or to even act as a step-counting pedometer.

SparkFun 9DoF Razor IMU M0


The 9DoF Razor’s MPU-9250 features three, three-axis sensors – an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer – which gives it the ability to sense linear acceleration, angular rotation velocity, and magnetic field vector’s. The on-board microprocessor – Atmel’s SAMD21G18A – is an Arduino-compatible, 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller also featured on the Arduino Zero and SAMD21 Mini Breakout boards.

In addition to pair of IC’s, the 9DoF Razor IMU includes a µSD card socket, LiPo battery charger, power-control switch, and a host of I/O break-outs for project expansion. It comes pre-programmed with example firmware and an Arduino-compatible bootloader, so you can customize the firmware and flash new code over a USB connection.

Covered In This Tutorial

This tutorial serves as both a primary documentation source and getting started guide for the SparkFun 9DoF Razor IMU M0. The first couple of sections document hardware and firmware features of the board, while the latter half of the tutorial demonstrates how to use the Arduino IDE and our MPU-9250 Arduino library to re-program the Razor IMU to your specific needs.

Bill of Materials

The 9DoF Razor IMU M0 comes populated with just about everything you could need to take advantage of the MPU-9250 9DoF sensor. There are just a handful of items – most of which you probably already have in your toolbox – you may need in addition to the board.

A micro-B USB cable can be used to both power and re-program the Razor. But, if you truly want to make the board mobile, you’ll need a single-cell Lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery, which can be recharged by plugging the 9DoF Razor into a USB supply. Additionally, if you want to log data, the 9DoF Razor IMU’s µSD socket supports any µSD card.

Lithium Ion Battery - 400mAh

Lithium Ion Battery - 850mAh

USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot


2 Retired

Finally, you may need soldering tools and headers or wire, if you want to take advantage of the 9DoF Razor IMU’s I/O and power breakouts.

Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Stranded, 22 AWG)

Female Headers

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Soldering Iron - 30W (US, 110V)


Suggested Reading

Feel free to jump right into using and developing on the 9DoF Razor IMU M0 – we’ve tried to make the board as easy to use regardless of you electronics experience level. If you’d like to do some pre-reading, though, here are a few tutorials we might recommend:


Gyroscopes measure the speed of rotation around an axis and are an essential part in determines ones orientation in space.

Accelerometer Basics

A quick introduction to accelerometers, how they work, and why they're used.

SAMD21 Mini/Dev Breakout Hookup Guide

An introduction to the Atmel ATSAMD21G18 microprocessor and our Mini and Pro R3 breakout boards. Level up your Arduino-skills with the powerful ARM Cortex M0+ processor.

MPU-9250 Hookup Guide

Get up and running with the MPU-9250 9-axis MEMS sensor.