Introducing Navio2

Emlid is proud to announce Navio2 - the new version of Navio autopilot.


Navio was the first Raspberry Pi based autopilot and grew up to become the main Linux APM platform. With Navio APM flight stack runs directly on Raspberry Pi under real-time Linux kernel. Compared to classic microcontroller-based autopilots this gives more CPU and memory resources as well as incredible Linux networking capabilities.


With Navio you can connect an LTE modem or high-power WiFi to obtain full network access to the autopilot. Stream video from Raspberry Pi camera, download photos or run your software alongside the APM.


We have listened closely to our community and included numerous improvements in Navio2.

New features in Navio2:


Dual IMU. We’ve added second IMU chip to improve flight experience and for redundancy.


Advanced power circuitry. Triple ideal diode or-ing scheme was already present on Navio+, but Navio2 also features overvoltage and overcurrent protection circuitry on the power module port to protect both the board and your Raspberry Pi.


Improved MS5611 performance. Transactions from other chips on the bus, which MS5611 is connected to, can produce noise during the conversion. We left MS5611 the only sensor on the I2C bus to overcome this.


PCA9685 PWM generator replaced with a microcontroller. On previous Navio version PWM generation was handled by PCA9685 chip. Main limitation of this chip is the inability to control frequencies for separate channels. This lead to problems with motors and servos that work on different frequencies. To eliminate that problem we used a microcontroller that allows to set frequencies for output channels by groups.


PPM\SBUS decoding done by microcontroller instead of DMA. On Navio+ we used DMA to sample PPM signal which was quite heavy on system resources. On Navio2 a microcontroller handles PPM\SBUS sampling leaving processor cores of Raspberry Pi 2 for your tasks.


AUX SPI. Navio2 is the first HAT to utilize AUX SPI controller on Raspberry Pi. Using two SPI controllers allows us to distribute sensors more efficiently. Having twice the bandwidth of other Raspberry Pi based solutions, we are managing to move more data at a greater speed.


ADC port. Using additional ADC channels on Navio+ was not user friendly due to ADC channels being only available on pads at the bottom of the board. On Navio2 these channels are easily accessible on a DF13 port.


Better Linux integration. PWM, ADC, SBUS and PPM are integrated in Linux sysfs allowing for easy access from any programming language. Even deeper integration is coming in the future.


Other small changes:

  • Right angle servo header

  • RGB LED position in the board center for better LED visibility

  • Pulled up pins in UART port to allow easy 3DR Radio connection

  • Nylon screws in the package to avoid magnetic interference

  • Camera cable cutout

  • PWM channels are protected by ESD clamps


All these new features come at the same price and Navio2 is also available with 30% edu discount.


You can find more information and order Navio2 at


Best regards,

Emlid team 

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  • Ravi, Linux is definitely the future! Looks like others got to catch up :)

  • Moderator

    @Emlid , the doupt at this point is .. if i put a microcontroller on baord why don't use a micro controller as flight controller and cpu as companion computer my opinion is that is more safe ... 

  • I see the future in Linux autopilots and looks like Navio2 is on the lead.

  • Roberto, an MCU instead of PCA9685 is a very important feature in our opinion. It gives us more control over the frequencies and behaviour of PWM outputs while RPi is booting. S.bus and PPM decoding is now much more efficient. We have fully integrated all functions of the MCU in Linux, so for software developers it looks just like if RPi processor had extra ADC, PWM and PPM.

  • Any plan to prepare plastic covers for Navio2?
  • Moderator

    Good decision to add a micro controller onboard the OS waiting for arm the esc is too long ... and is not a safe solution ... We , too are working to an update to our VR Brain LX with on board a VR Brain Core ... 

  • Thumbs up fpr Emlid (and also for Victor), like your development steps ... 


    ... but, is one of you working on a similar nvidia TX1 Jetson extension? yes, no, me have angst? Best c.

  • I just saw more specs your IMUs are 9DOF with 3d magnetometer..  sounds very good. I follow your community sometimes very helpful. great work !

  • Tony, Navio2 is a sensor shield. APM code with EKF runs on Raspberry Pi. We also provide code examples how to use sensors without APM.

  • So there is no DCM on Navio boards ? External DCM is a must is that correct ?

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