3D Robotics

ArduPlane home page




Convert any RC airplane into a fully-autonomous UAV!
Just add the APM 2 autopilot to any RC aircraft and it becomes a fully-programmable flying robot with a powerful ground station and Mission Planner.  


Features include:

  • Return to Launch with a flick of your RC toggle switch or a mouse click in the graphical Ground Station
  • Unlimited 3D GPS waypoints
  • Built-in camera control
  • Fully-scriptable missions
  • One-click software load, and easy point-and-click configuration in the powerful Mission Planner. NO programming required!
  • Replay recorded missions and analyze all the data with a graphing interface
  • Supports two-way telemetry with Xbee wireless modules. 
  • Point-and-click waypoint entry or real-time mission commands while the UAV is in the air
  • Fly with a joystick or gamepad via your PC--no need for RC control!
  • Built-in failsafe will bring your aircraft home in the case of radio loss


All instructions and software are here.






APM 2 is an open source, Arduino-compatible, pro-quality autopilot. It is the most advanced IMU-based open source autopilot available today, and provides an entire UAV control system with scriptable missions with 3D waypoints, in-flight uploading of commands and powerful ground station software. 


APM 2 supports any kind of of vehicle with a one-click change of code. Available code include ArduPlane (fixed wing), ArduCopter (rotary wing), ArduRover (ground vehicles) and more.


Everything you need to create an ArduPlane UAV:


APM 2.5 autopilot with GPS ($179)

[Optional] Telemetry kit ($75).



You'll also need a at least a five-channel RC radio setup, a soldering iron, a mini USB cable and of course something that flies!3689354440?profile=original (We're partial to the SkyFun delta wing (right) and
Bixlee 2   powered glider (left) or its equivalents ourselves).






Source code/firmware

Note: ArduPilot Mega requires no programming, but it's open source and you're welcome to modify it if you'd like. If you are going to play with the code, you can use the free Arduino IDE to edit and upload the code to the ArduPilot board.



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  • Distributor

    Hello Jonny,


    You can get the info on 2.4 GHz Xbee kits here in the EU we are not allowed to use the 900 Xbees :( They do not have the range of the 900's but work fine for LOS flights. The Telemetry Kit can be found here.





  • 3D Robotics

    Jonny: Yes, it's easy with the Mission Planner. Please see the manual for more.  You can use 2.4 Xbees, but the setup process is a bit more complicated (and the range shorter) than the 900 ones we recommend. It's in the manual too. 

  • I cant find the correct program to read the Euler angles from the IMU then to move the servos,i can control the servos easily , and upload the code too, but still cant know how to read the valuse from the IMU??? BTW the IMU is properly connected to the ardupilot and the indicating leds are ok, but I eaither cant read or use the Euler angles from the IMU nor see the values on the serial monitor ...... Can u help me to figure out the problem plz...???

  • yes i can
  • can you use Ultrasonic Range Finders sensor with the ArduPilot Mega
  • There are quite a few other differences in the board from what I saw.

    In all honesty, the 1280 still has legs.
    Under Construction
  • Hey Guys. 

    Has anyone attempted to upgrade the chip on their APM1280 board to a ATMega2560 by hand soldering?  Are the boards the same other than the chip, or are there revisions to the PCB that make this direct chip replacement impossible?

    I strongly doubt this would be supported by the team, but seeing as the chips are fairly cheap on there own, I thought it could be an option to give it a go.  If I destroy the board/chip in the process, then it's no huge disaster as the alternative was to upgrade to the APM2560 anyway. (I really appreciate keeping the CPU/RC separate to the expensive sensors!)

    Sorry If this has been discussed before, I've been away from DIYd for a few months and find we are already talking about 'sunsetting' the 1280!  I checked the forums and recent blog posts but couldn't find any reference to a hand soldered frankenpilot. :)


  • I was interested in the schemtics of the "MediaTek MT3329 GPS 10Hz". I want to use this outside the APM to get raw GPS data. The board has 6 wires using JST connector but I have no idea which wire is what signal. If someone has it can you please pass it on to me.


  • 3D Robotics
    Andrew: I'm not sure. If you were powering the board through a BEC that should be fine. Even if the other battery was undervoltage, it would just cause a brownout, not damange.

    I suggest you go through a setup process again (reset, radio calibration etc) and try those tests again.
  • Hi Cris!

    Thank you for your answer!

    So… in the photo, you can see my secondary battery and my BEC.  I used them with APM and not the Flight battery. 3692250187?profile=original

    What could be the problem?  I don’t know what to think!

    (For the simulation on X-plane I used a 4.8 V battery for the receiver and then connected to APM. Maybe 4.8V is not enough for APM and the board broken?  I don’t know.)

    Thank you for your help

    Have a nice day


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