How can I program Pixhawk?

Hi everyone!

I'm a software engineering student and my graduation project deals with programming a software for obstacles avoidance for a 3DR Pixhawk based drone.

Soon I'm going to have the Lidar-Lite 2 sensor I ordered for this, and now i'm starting to figure out how am I suppose to work with it, and this is where I need your help.

I have so many questions that i'm sure some of you would be able to answer and it goes like this:

1) What is the needed IDE for programming such a thing?

2) Which working environment do I need for this? Windows/Linux/doesn't matter? if linux, is it possible to work with VMWare?

3) If you familiar with an example code for the Lidar-Lite2 sensor which works with the Pixhawk and can direct me to it - would be fantastic.

4) Which softwares do I need in general for this? I know of Mission Planner which can be used for reading the data from the sensor and plan missions, but I have no idea what really can be done with this program.

If you need more information to give proper answer please tell me, because i'm not sure and too much into all the details in the project (I'm taking only one part in the big picture).

Thank you very much in advance,


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  • Hi Ben, I am also implementing the similar setup. Could you please share any more information you found on this.

  • no, don't mind that.

    ESXi and such are references to VMWare servers that may run your VM , it's in case you planned to develop in an datacenter, using great power, compiling anything from clean in seconds.  Then you could redirect local USB devices to connect to that, or connect hardware to server, but none of those are completely painless.

    So by your response, I "know" will be using VMWare Player or VMWare Workstation, and it will work just fine - and you will be able to connect the USB devices (Pixhawk, radios,FTDI or anything else you may need) just fine.

  • 1,2  :  Most programmers here (by far, I think) are using Linux, that goes the least troublesome building, and greatest options when you want to build for other  /even more powerful hardware.  - and yes, you can run it in VMware, (even it may not make much sense if you have a inefficient windows to run the VMware Workstation)

    (I say workstation, because VMWare ESX based stuff will have hard time with the USB ports)

    3 - you will soon discover, I think :)

    4: for custom sensors, you'll find MavProxy much more meaningful than mission planner.

    Start here:

    - observe that is really the site for what you want to do..

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