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.

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  • One thing that's interesting is the use of the FrSky TH9X radio, which itself is open-source.  It's a really nice system for a nice price.  But the question is, are there any plans to create custom firmware for this radio?  It's entirely possible to have custom telemetry coming back to the radio with a custom display layout.  For example, would help tremendously to have the radio read out the *selected* flight mode, but also display the actual flight mode the APM is using.  So you can get an acknowledgement that you have changed to the flight mode you want, or indication of a failsafe, etc.  And I'd love to see buzzer usage on the radio to signal failsafes, etc.

  • 3D Robotics


    Distributors will be given plenty of early ordering access on the consumer release in Oct (the distributor newsletter in Sept will give all the details). This first release is just for developers and early adopters and will come with special dev team support.  

  • 3D Robotics

    Jiro: Over the next 30 days we'll be revealing everything, including all internal details.

  • 3D Robotics

    The autopilot is a brand-new design, built on the PX4 architecture. It is code compatible with APM/current PX4 but upgraded with a new easy-to-use design and the latest/greatest processor and sensors.  More details will be revealed over the next month. 

  • 3D Robotics

    Ranaud: Iris will ship with new and improved versions of EVERYTHING, including a new cross-platform Mission Planner. All details will be revealed over the next month. 

  • @Jiro Hattori,

    It's a PX4 running APM:Copter, at least that's what the description says.

  • Please review the inside, cause very curious about flight controller.

  • Looking forward to seeing the solution for carrying a gopro and very much hoping it's a brushless gimbal with integrated cabling back to a VTx… in which case I'd be up for the pre-order.
  • Distributor

    Ok, that is why 3DR is so busy these days... ;) 

    Any words on distributor pricing and availability of parts?  Would like to start stocking them for sure! 

    come on 3DR try to speak with us (distributors) a bit more please... you did establish a direct way to contact us but you are not using it. 



  • Alex,

    The radio antenna rotates and pivots, I haven't managed to break one yet. The GoPro mount attaches to the front.

    We will be posting more details of Iris soon. I can't wait to be able to share more with you all, this a great copter!

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