What is the Ideal IMU Upgrade: Pigeon 2.0 or NavX

Hello, my name is Liran, representing Team 1943. Our team intends to upgrade our current IMU (ADIS ADIS16448) to a better model for the upcoming season, as we have encountered some challenges with its performance.

At present, we are considering a couple of options. First and foremost, we have the Pigeon 2.0. Our primary rationale for considering this IMU is its compatibility with the ctre framework. ctre has become an invaluable resource for our programming team and we greatly appreciate the ease of use when utilizing the Pigeon 2.0 alongside the Phoenix lib and TunerX.

Our alternative choice is the new navX. While we have received positive feedback from other teams regarding its capabilities, we are not yet familiar with its specific features and functionality.

We would greatly appreciate your insights and thoughts on which IMU would be the better option. Furthermore, we are open to any additional suggestions you may have.


If you can get a pigeon2, take it, while I don’t know much about the NavX, we haven’t had a single issue with the pigeon2 ever. The api is great to work with, and it doesn’t need any calibration or anything, it just works.

Accuracy wise, they are the same. The main difference they have is in software APIs and mounting/connection style. From a software perspective, Pigeon 2s have a little bit better API, but you do have to account for the fact that there’s a bit of latency (from the CAN bus). Navx simply requires some coordinate transforms, but since it mounts to a Rio, you don’t have to worry about CAN bus latency in any calls. Ultimately the decision is just what works best for y’all, my team has gone with Pigeons because we like being able to put them wherever.

If you’re looking at the pigeon2 and don’t mind waiting Redux Robotics is releasing a CAN IMU this year that you may want to wait and try as it’ll likely cost less then ctres pigeon 2.

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The Pigeon 1 and NavX are comparable. The Pigeon 2 is much more accurate than the NavX.


…which NavX?


NavX2 and Pigeon 2 look pretty similar on the spec sheet.


You’re right, I was looking at an older spec.

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Can anyone comment on the possible differences in the gyro calibration between the two? It seems I read that the Pigeon2 doesn’t really require a period where the robot is still for calibration, where the NavX2 does? Do I understand that correctly?

I don’t think this period really matters your bot is turned on & can calibrate long before the match starts, & both can work without calibration they just drift a lot more without it.

It shouldn’t matter between pigeon2 and navx they do the same functionality. Pigeon2 is a good deal more expensive though and when in stock might go quickly. The mentioned CAN IMU might be interesting though.

It does matter if you have a brown out in the middle of a match which resets your gyro

They should only brown out if your battery drops below 6V, and even then the 3.3V rail that powers the MCU/gyro IC on either shouldn’t go out until 5V or perhaps even lower. I can’t confirm that for sure, but it’s at least likely. I’d put more probability on a dicey power connection.

Either way you’d need to re-zero the gyro if the 3.3V rail goes out because your zero angle will be off if the entire device browns out.

tl:dr f you’re browning out to well under 6V regularly you probably have bigger issues to worry about that your gyro calibration.

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The NavX-mxp gets its power from the roboRIO 5v rail, so it will drop out at 6.3v (or >16v), unless you secondarily power it from the roboRIO USB.

TIL… time to redundantly power our NavX.