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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  • I hope they change the battery holder that would accommodate for a larger batter like 5000 so we get a better flight time with all the FPV gears.Unless it can hold a bigger batter, I'm not buying one...

    I hope they're taking this into considerations.

  • Ok I ordered an IRIS is mid December...

    At the time it was listed as 2 to 3 wks lead time.

    The Iris is still listed at 2 to 4 wks lead time.

    Yesterday I received the following email:

    Unfortunately we are still working on some improvements on the final design (like ventilating the shell, improving the battery compartment so it doesn't open up, etc). I really wish I could tell you a delivery date, but we still don't have that information.

    So the design is not yet finalized and they are still marketing it with a maximum of 4 a week delivery date?

  • Gary,  Thanks, this is great.  I think you did an amazing job of explaining and showing things.  I guess I have just a couple of questions now.  Do you think the Attitude is the best way to go?   I see the Dominator has glass rather than plastic lenses, but things are missing that I need to buy?  And if I am reading this correctly the Attitude provides a camera or can you buy them without it and use the one you suggested? Try to help me with this choice.  Now as for the transmitter what power should I go with? You also mentioned something good about placing the camera.  I was thinking of attaching it to the gopro some way, but then I would not feel the quad movement,  so you suggest not attaching it that way?   I am going to go with your suggestions as you showed me some amazing things.   Last question !  lol...  where is the best place to buy what you recommend?   ! sorry,  was just reading what you sent me.  how do I get the OSD to show

  • Hi Michael,

    There are a few manufacturers of FPV goggles, but the ones that have the best reviews and widest loyal user support are Fat Shark and of the FatShark Goggles the 640 x 480 Attitude have the widest range of uses because they have the receiver and head tracker built in.

    Please look at the wiki FPV page I wrote here: http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/common-fpv-first-person-view/

    And you can check out the Goggles directly at Fat Shark here is a link to their Headset comparison page:


    These are in wide use and are liked by the users.

    Avoid lower (320 x 240) goggles and HD ones still cost too much.

    The weight of the airborne transmitter, camera and Minim OSD are quite low so it should have a negligible effect on flight capability.

    The 3DR Minim OSD is recommended because it is directly compatible with our flight controllers.

    The cameras are also small enough to fit almost anywhere.

    Get Fat Shark or Security Systems 2000 cameras and keep the GoPro.

    Get the best camera for FPV and don't try to get one with an SD card.

    You will find lots of threads relating to the best camera for FPV and for Fat Shark.

    Best Regards,


  • Has anyone setup the Iris with a FPV goggle system yet?  I have been looking at a few different setups, but unsure which will work the best.  If anyone has suggestions please let me know.  Also is there a FPV camera that has a spot for a micro SD card?  I figure I might have to remove the Gopro if I fly FPV to save on the weight, but still want to capture some video along the flight. 

  • Looking forward to the latest version of the Iris with a Spektrum Satellite RX and a DX8 TX. Will it ever be? Or a version where we can add our own Radio setup. 

  • Im guessing then it will mount side by side w the gopro mount or else maybe stacked?
  • I realize that, but I was just showing its possible.
  • Its used for setting up shots, not for main flight.

  • Touche on the gopro not being optimal.

    But TBS do have a gopro switch wired straight to the core.

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