Redundancy for your autopilot


Hello flight-buddys,

it has been quiet for a while from GIZMOtec and the AP-Manager.

But meanwhile the project is finished and we are happy to present the AP-Manager with even more features and flexibility as a redundancy-board between two parallel running (different) autopilots.

Since, the requirements for the operation of unmanned aircrafts in commercial and semi-professional purposes have become more strict in some regions here in Europe, safety is important.

The AP-Manager allows you to operate your aircraft or vehicle safely by using two independent autopilot systems parallel. The AP-Manager is acting here as an intelligent bridge between the autopilots in your UAV system and switches to the alive autopilot, whenever one of the autopilots quits its operation.

Furthermore, with an onboard-mixer you can even operate your system manual, just in case both autopilots should fail (except for multirotors).


The AP-Manager has implemented electronic switches, which routes the servo outputs from the autopilots to a single servo output rail depending on the desired operation mode of the AP-Manager. The AP-Manager can be operated in “Manual-“ (semiautomatic) or “Automatic”-mode.

In both cases, the AP-Manager is monitoring the health status of the connected autopilots by checking the alive-signal of each autopilot and the servo outputs of the active autopilot.

This improves redundancy and therefore safety in case of malfunction in one of the autopilot systems. The AP-Manager switches to the second autopilot system and the operator is able to perform a safe landing.

On the board there is also integrated a PPM-decoder for manual (non-stabilized) flight.

With this decoder, you can directly feed the remote signals though the AP-Manager to the servos and motors (only possible for planes, delta-wings, helicopters and ground vehicles). This function is activated in case both autopilot systems are not working (Emergency state) to perform an emergency landing.

The AP-Manager is able to control up to 8-output channels. With a second board you can extend the system to use even more channels (NOTE: not implemented yet).

Additional benefits arise when using the AP-Manager in combination with autopilots from the ardupilot-family (by 3D-Robotics) in terms of switching the telemetry-downlink. It allows you to use only one telemetry module to monitor two autopilot systems separately. If the AP-Manager switches (manually or automatically because of a malfunction) between the autopilot systems, it also switches the telemetry automatically, allowing you to monitor the autopilot which is currently in command.

If you performing test-flights (e.g. with a new firmware on the second autopilot) you can easily watch the behaviour of the second autopilot via the telemetry switch, whilst flying on the familiar primary autopilot (with the old firmware).

One single PPM / PWM channel on your radio receiver can operate the different mode-selection solutions for the autopilots and the selection of telemetry’s.

You can use the most features when using a PIXHAWK or APM, but you can also use other autopilot systems. You even can mix the autopilots or stabilization systems, if it makes sense for you or for test purposes.

Dependent on your range of application for your UAV’s, the setups can be very different and various (type of autopilot, telemetry, esc’s, power-redundancy, remote control, vehicle, number of engines…etc.). Therefore, we prepared a configuration tool for doing the setups.



Some Features of the AP-Manager:

  • Telemetry switch (for 3DR-family)
  • Manual and/or semi-automatic switch between autopilots
  • On-board mixer for traditional aircraft, delta-wing and helicopter on board (in case both autopilot fail)
  • Wide internal power supply range 3,7-17V
  • Configurable via software
  • Future firmware updates possible
  • Mixable with different autopilots
  • Signal feedback outputs for LED’s or buzzer
  • Digital output for feedback of actual state back to JETI receiver
  • PWM-signals of active autopilot and parallel monitoring of alive-signal
  • … etc.


For more information please check our website on , take part on our NATION CAMPAIGN or contact us if you have questions via

Thank you,

The GIZMOtec-Team

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • @Mark Omo

    Yes, it uses an Atmega, why incompatible? We do the releases

  • What processor is this using? it seems like it might be using an ATmega and therefore incompatible with the current releases.

  • @Mario

    Thank you. I am sure that as soon we can start production in bigger units we will find an "harmonized" price in the future. But for now we have to go this way.

    @Darius Jack

    I am not very sure what you mean with this. Please drop me a note for further details on Thank you


  • @Robert,

    are you ready to implement redundancy in sensors ?

    3 GPS units,

    3 barometers,

    3 IMUs

  • Very good idea subject to a good demonstration and/or users stats but I think you are making a mistake with the asked price. A bit to steep.... any way, I wish you success.

  • Hello @JB,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree to most of the points you mentioned, a study would be interesting. I think handling mistakes would be on top of the list and a third autopilot, to interpret the errors would be the best. But I also think that one can drive the subject redundancy nearly not to an end. When ready with the autopilots, than double or triple sensors, batteries, ESC's, BEC's, double cables.....what about an extra engine or a third wing...?

    We here have a solution to reduce the fear of the agencies or even the keep the door open for commercial operation of UAV's.

    With best regards, Robert

  • Adding points of failure does not typically make a more reliable system. There is an application for this to test two AP though.

    I would be interested in seeing a study of what hardware fails how often. I would expect the cable connectors/plugs etc would fail most often. Also monitoring the heartbeat of a AP does not mean the AP is functional per se, it could be steering the aircraft into the ground dues to a faulty sensor etc. It would be good to be able to compare the AP state more thoroughly, but then It's likely that a third AP would be required for a correct comparison. (if comparing only two - which one is right?) 

  • @earthpatrol

    Unfortunately, it is fact, that in some regions, the use of a redundancy in the autopilots for commercial UAV´s, is meanwhile given law, especially for multicopters.

    For most setups in the UAV’s it is quite common, to use the newest firmware on your primary autopilot and leave the second in a very conservative state with the “older”, well approved and tested firmware, with only minimum sensors in the loop.


  • @Marco

    If the AP-Manager fails by loss of power, a transistor, mounted on the board automatically switches to the primary autopilot 1.

    A lot of other answers to upcoming questions to the functions and reactions of the AP-Manager are also mentioned in the FAQ`s of our website. Check: here

    Regards, Robert

  • Developer

    Hi Robert, just a question: if this board loses power what happens?

This reply was deleted.