Introducing the PX4 autopilot system

The PX4 team is pleased to announce early availability of the PX4 autopilot platform, with hardware available immediately from 3D Robotics. 


The platform is a low cost, modular, open hardware and software design targeting high-end research, hobby and industrial autopilot applications.

PX4 is an expandable, modular system comprising the PX4FMU Flight Management Unit (autopilot) and a number of optional interface modules.

The PX4FMU autopilot features include:

  • 168Mhz ARM CortexM4F microcontroller with DSP and floating-point hardware acceleration.
  • 1024KiB of flash memory, 192KiB of RAM.
  • MEMS accelerometer and gyro, magnetometer and barometric pressure sensor.
  • Flexible expansion bus and onboard power options.

Expansion modules available at release include:

  • PX4IOAR This module interfaces PX4 to the AR.Drone motor controllers, allowing a complete quadrotor to be assembled using an AR.Drone frame and motors.
  • PX4IO A flexible interface module with support for eight PWM servo outputs, relays, switched power and more.

As an open hardware design, third-party and DIY expansion modules can be easily developed for specific applications, and more PX4 modules are in development.

In addition to the versatile hardware platform, PX4 introduces a sophisticated, modular software environment built on top of a POSIX-like realtime operating system. The modular architecture and operating system support greatly simplify the process of experimenting with specific components of the system, as well as reducing the barriers to entry for new developers.

Adding support for new sensors, peripherals and expansion modules is straightforward due to standardized interface protocols between software components. Onboard microSD storage permits high-rate logging and data storage for custom applications. MAVLink protocol support provides direct integration with existing ground control systems including QGroundControl and the APM Mission Planner.

Pricing of the PX4 components reflects more than a year of careful development and a strong commitment from our manufacturing partner.

This release is targeted at early adopters and developers looking for a more capable platform than existing low-cost autopilots. With more than an order of magnitude more processing power and memory compared to popular 8-bit autopilot platforms, PX4 is exceptional value for money and provides substantial room for future growth.

For more information about the PX4 autopilot platform, visit the project website at

PX4 modules can be purchased from our manufacturing partner, 3DRobotics.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

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

Join diydrones


  • Hey folks,

    Sorry to re-open this thread again!

    Has anyone tried to  integrate the PX4FMU+PXIO with the DJI Phantom2?

    I have tried this and able to connect and currently using Manual control.  RC  to be specific. The motors can be started.  The motors respond to the Throttle, Roll pitch and yaw controls.. but it does not want to take off.. 

    Has anyone experienced this  before?  


  • Developer

    It certainly has the CPU power to do kalman filters.  I'm sure it could handle some image processing as well.  It's got the CPU but then someone has to write the software.

  • Can this board run complex algorithms (including kalman filtering) like non-linear control, image processing?

  • After trying several times to follow the guide linked by Chris Anderson without success, I decided to upload the firmware by following this link Guess what!? Problem solved, are three days that connects to the first shot!!!!!! Now ... can someone give me a hand on the configuration of the various sensors installed on the PX4? Thank you.

  • I have tried many times to reload the firmware following the step by step instructions but the px4 never connects to the first shot. So I guess that has something wrong and I have to return it back.


  • 3D Robotics

    Luigi: PX4 is still in development release and the ArduCopter software is still in beta until final release next month. But if you want to play with it now, before the public release, the correct manual page is this one

  • those found on this link

  • 3D Robotics

    Luigi: Which instructions are you using? 

  • I apologize for my English. I bought PX4FMU and PX4IO, the connect via usb but to connect them with mission planner or Ground control must be a whole day. does not want to connect to the first shot. The guides are really skimpy. I'm planning to dispute the charge.


  • dear chris anderson,

    this new board seem to be great but i ca say one thing which is not good..

    compass is again on the main board so it s not the best to have a sensor without noisy..or you should use copper sheet to isolate it


    pins board are very crappy!they should be like all standart apm 2.5 will be perfect

    and to conclued:a little protective box like apm will be very great

This reply was deleted.