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.

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  • I'm just the minion working with the board. The guy who bought it is named Dan Block, University of Illinois.

    Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!

  • 3D Robotics

    Jan: I don't see any record of you having emailed sales or customer support. When did you send it?

  • It seems DIYDrones is incapable of answering emails in a timely manner, nor answer requests for an RMA.

    Let's go, either you tell me what the proper replacement parts are so that I can solder them onto the PX4IOAR, or you take the board back. But do either a little quicker!

    So, there are values given in the schematics for the two capacitors that need to be replaced. Are those values correct? Are the schematics up to date?

  • This question is probably a bit out of place but can someone tell me what is going on with the code side of the px4 project ?

  • Developer

    Nick V, if you are comfortable soldering SMD chips, and voiding warranties, you can just do it yourself. :-)

  • And now my px4ioar has to go back to the states because of a production error... sigh it's gonna be a while before I actually start working on this project... Hopefully the next new one has all the connectors it's supposed to have as well...

  • the few that went out.

    the paperwork was inadequte - a special tax has been charged.

    plus no header for the xbee - neither a gps cable.

    it arrived today.


  • The website was quickly down due to a building power test and is back online. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 3D Robotics

    The site was up this morn, so I suspect it's just a momentary glitch. I'll give the team a heads up regardless. 

    As for the J9 connector, it (and the Xbee header) were inadvertently missed by the kitters in the first few that went out. They'll be shipped to you with the rubber spacers, which you probably already saw a note about. 

  • Received my shipment today, documentation site seems to be down, bad timing.. Also I'm missing the J9 connector on the PX4IOAR, anyone else with that issue?

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