3D Robotics introduces Iris, a totally ready-to-fly quadcopter UAV with next-gen autopilot

As some of you may have noticed at the recent SUSB Expo in San Francisco, we’ve been busy working on a brand-new, consumer-friendly quadcopter.  The day has finally come to officially take off the wraps and show it to you all.  Here it is: Iris.

3DR Iris provides the autonomous functionality you’ve come to know and love in APM:Copter with a next generation PX4-based 32-bit autopilot (UPDATE: this has now been announced, and is called Pixhawk) and an all-in-one housing.

Building on the existing 3DR family of multi-rotor vehicles, Iris is compact, ready-to-fly, and fully autonomous. Navigate from takeoff to landing with point-and-click mission planning and configurable GPS waypoints, all from your mobile device or computer. Iris supports the full set of features offered by APM:Copter, including loiter, altitude hold, return to launch, circle, follow me, acrobatic flying mode, and more. With a stylish, durable, and sleek body, Iris is designed with a wide angle between the front arms to provide a clear view for an on-board camera--add a GoPro Hero 3(R) to capture your favorite moments from a unique perspective.


  • Multiple control options provide redundancy and flexibility: RC, computer, phone, tablet

  • Built-in data radio for real-time mission monitoring, data-logging, and control

  • Powerful cross-platform ground station/mission planning and analysis software that runs on Windows, OS X and Linux, providing simple point-and-click programming and configuration

  • Mobile apps allow intuitive “draw a path” mission planning

  • Picatinny rail mounting system integrated in the arms provides painless mounting for future accessories (stay tuned!)

  • Camera options include a live video link with programmable on-screen-display, and will soon support a fully integrated stabilized camera gimbal with autopilot control

  • GoPro(R) compatible camera mount

  • Available with a 9-channel RC transmitter pre-programmed for the most popular flight modes.

  • GPS waypoints allow for professional-grade mission capabilities, such as: mapping, scripted cinematography, scientific research, and other applications where repeatable flight plans are required

  • Robust arms and feet produced from Zytel Nylon(R) for the ultimate in wear, abrasion and impact resistance over a wide temperature range. They are easily and inexpensively replaced if required.

  • Auto takeoff and landing along with Return-To-Launchpoint command at the press of a button or under programmable failsafe conditions

  • Follow Me function for the ultimate "selfies". In this mode, Iris will follow (at an adjustable distance) any ground station device equipped with a GPS antenna and one of our 3DR telemetry/control radios

  • Geo Fencing provides a virtual box to keep your drone within a user-selectable space

  • Failsafe programming options bring peace of mind in the event of lost control signal/GPS or low battery conditions

  • External micro-USB port

  • RGB LED for status and orientation
  • Buzzer for audible status and warning messages

  • Safety switch adds a second level of protection against inadvertent start-ups

  • Open source flight code, ground station software and electronics are all freely distributed under standard open source licenses. This means that Iris' capabilities are always improving and expanding with a simple firmware update!


  • Motor to motor dimension: 550 mm

  • Height: 100 mm

  • Weight (with battery): 1282 grams

  • Average flight time: 9-14 minutes

  • Standard battery: 11.1v 3.5Ah lithium polymer with XT-60 type connector, weight 262 grams

  • Propellers: (2) 10 x 4.7 normal-rotation, (2) 10 x 4.7 reverse-rotation

  • Motors: AC 2830, 850kv

  • Telemetry/Control radios available in 915mHz or 433mHz

  • PX4-based 32-bit autopilot with Cortex M4 processor

  • 3DR uBlox GPS with integrated magnetometer

Iris is currently available in a developer release for experienced operators to participate in the ongoing development of this exciting new product. Iris developer pre-orders are available now from store.3drobotics.com and will ship September 16th. Operators not interested in development are encouraged to wait for the consumer release of Iris coming soon!

Official press release can be found here.

Views: 69932

Comment by LanMark on August 19, 2013 at 1:16pm

The short landing gear doesn't leave much room for brushless gimbals or what not... otherwise pretty interesting package.   I see you got your company colors out.. I think I would have gone with a bit more contrast instead of dark blue and black.

Comment by John C. on August 19, 2013 at 1:21pm

Hey there LanMark...we do offer red feet for it right now.  We'll also be coming out with longer legs for bottom gimbal mounting shortly.  They're awesome legs that mount to the Picatinny rails.

Comment by LanMark on August 19, 2013 at 1:24pm

I was hoping for pink :)  red would be good for seeing from a distance.  longer legs or leg extensions?   Seems like just leg extensions would be all that is needed which could vary in length based on the sort of things one is doing with it.

Comment by LanMark on August 19, 2013 at 1:25pm

Is there no externally facing LED indicators on the device?   Seems void of any sort of visual indicator.

Comment by John C. on August 19, 2013 at 1:27pm

They will be separate longer legs.  We didn't feel the extension route was robust enough.  The current shorter legs are easily removed from their sliding dove-tail joint with a small grub screw.  The longer legs will have small thumbscrews that allows fixing in place on the arm rails.

3D Robotics
Comment by Alan Sanchez on August 19, 2013 at 1:27pm

@ LanMark, Iris comes with two bright pink/red feet, we should be posting more pictures throughout the week. There is also a very bright RGB LED on the tail.

Comment by LanMark on August 19, 2013 at 1:39pm

yeah I think for this crowd posting a pic of the guts where the APM goes would be beneficial, otherwise its just a black box with wings

Comment by squilter on August 19, 2013 at 2:02pm
+1 would like to see guts
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on August 19, 2013 at 2:09pm

I'm very excited about this.  Gotta get me one! :)

As anybody who knows me, in the past I've been very critical of plastic moulded arms, such as from DJI, as they are too flexible and lead to vibrations.  However, during the preview of this machine, I was very impressed with the arm design and construction. And I really like the provision for bolt-on accessories. 3DR did a very nice job on these.  I'd even consider using them on a custom made Octocopter.  

Overall, it's a very professional looking package.

Comment by Manuel Ramos on August 19, 2013 at 2:18pm

Why PX4 instead of APM?  Is PX4 the future of 3DR?  Are you going to sell the frame only (no autopilot)?



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