It's easy to use the LSM6DSOX or ISM330DHCX sensors with Python and CircuitPython, and the Adafruit CircuitPython LSM6DS module.  This module allows you to easily write Python code that reads measurements from the accelerometer and gyro, and will work with either sensor.

You can use this sensor with any CircuitPython microcontroller board or with a computer that has GPIO and Python thanks to Adafruit_Blinka, our CircuitPython-for-Python compatibility library.

CircuitPython Microcontroller Wiring

First wire up a LSM6DSOX or ISM330DHCX to your board for an I2C connection, exactly  as shown below.  Here's an example of wiring a Feather M4 to the sensor with I2C:

  • Board 3V to sensor VIN (red wire)
  • Board GND to sensor GND (black wire)
  • Board SCL to sensor SCL (yellow wire)
  • Board SDA to sensor SDA (blue wire)

Python Computer Wiring

Since there's dozens of Linux computers/boards you can use we will show wiring for Raspberry Pi. For other platforms, please visit the guide for CircuitPython on Linux to see whether your platform is supported

Here's the Raspberry Pi wired with I2C:

  • Pi 3V to sensor VCC (red wire)
  • Pi GND to sensor GND (black wire)
  • Pi SCL to sensor SCL (yellow wire)
  • Pi SDA to sensor SDA (blue wire)

CircuitPython Installation of LSM6DS Library

You'll need to install the Adafruit CircuitPython LSM6DS library on your CircuitPython board. This library works with the LSM6DSOX, LSM6DS33, or ISM330DHCX

First make sure you are running the latest version of Adafruit CircuitPython for your board.

Next you'll need to install the necessary libraries to use the hardware--carefully follow the steps to find and install these libraries from Adafruit's CircuitPython library bundle.  Our CircuitPython starter guide has a great page on how to install the library bundle.

For non-express boards like the Trinket M0 or Gemma M0, you'll need to manually install the necessary libraries from the bundle:

  • adafruit_lsm6ds.mpy
  • adafruit_bus_device
  • adafruit_register

Before continuing make sure your board's lib folder or root filesystem has the adafruit_lsm6ds.mpy, adafruit_bus_device, and adafruit_register files and folders copied over.

Next connect to the board's serial REPL so you are at the CircuitPython >>> prompt.

Python Installation of LSM6DS Library

You'll need to install the Adafruit_Blinka library that provides the CircuitPython support in Python. This may also require enabling I2C on your platform and verifying you are running Python 3. Since each platform is a little different, and Linux changes often, please visit the CircuitPython on Linux guide to get your computer ready!

Once that's done, from your command line run the following command:

  • pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-lsm6ds

If your default Python is version 3 you may need to run 'pip' instead. Just make sure you aren't trying to use CircuitPython on Python 2.x, it isn't supported!

CircuitPython & Python Usage

To demonstrate the usage of the sensor we'll initialize it and read the acceleration and rotation measurements from the board's Python REPL.

Run the following code to import the necessary modules and initialize the I2C connection with the sensor:

import time
import board
import busio
import adafruit_lsm6ds

i2c = busio.I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)
sox = adafruit_lsm6ds.LSM6DSOX(i2c)

Now you're ready to read values from the sensor using these properties:

  • acceleration - The acceleration forces in the X, Y, and Z axes in m/s 2
  • gyro - The rotation measurement on the X, Y, and Z axes in degrees/sec

For example, to print out the acceleration and gyro measurements use this code:

print("Acceleration: X:%.2f, Y: %.2f, Z: %.2f m/s^2" % (sensor.acceleration))
print("Gyro X:%.2f, Y: %.2f, Z: %.2f degrees/s" % (sensor.gyro))

That's all there is to it! Go forth and imbue your robot friends with the gift of being able to maybe not fall down all the time. Maybe.

Example Code

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: Copyright (c) 2020 Bryan Siepert for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
import time
import board
from adafruit_lsm6ds.lsm6dsox import LSM6DSOX

i2c = board.I2C()  # uses board.SCL and board.SDA
# i2c = board.STEMMA_I2C()  # For using the built-in STEMMA QT connector on a microcontroller
sensor = LSM6DSOX(i2c)

while True:
    print("Acceleration: X:%.2f, Y: %.2f, Z: %.2f m/s^2" % (sensor.acceleration))
    print("Gyro X:%.2f, Y: %.2f, Z: %.2f radians/s" % (sensor.gyro))

This guide was first published on Dec 22, 2019. It was last updated on Nov 28, 2023.

This page (Python & CircuitPython) was last updated on Nov 28, 2023.

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