3D Robotics

New 3DR autopilot: Pixhawk Mini


The wait is over! We are proud to introduce the next generation 3DR autopilot, Pixhawk Mini. Pixhawk Mini is an upgraded Pixhawk designed in collaboration with HobbyKing and optimized to run the Dronecode PX4 firmware stack and QGroundControl multi-platform ground station (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS).

For just $199, Pixhawk Mini includes autopilot, GPS, and all the cables and connectors needed to get started building DIY quads, planes, rovers, and boats.

What's improved over Pixhawk 1?

  • One third the size--dimensions reduced from 50 mm x 81.5 mm x15.5 mm to 38 mm x 43 mm x 12 mm. Smaller airframes can now operate autonomously without making sacrifices for the Pixhawk footprint.

  • Rev 3 STM32 processor allow for full utilization of 2MB flash memory. Pixhawk Mini operates at only 50% compute capacity, 40 percentage points lower than the original Pixhawk. There is significantly more overhead available to run custom code.

  • Improved sensors, including both primary and secondary IMU (MPU9250 and ICM20608, respectively), lead to much better vibration handling and increased reliability.

  • GPS module included--Neo M8N with quad-constellation support and upgraded HMC5983 compass.

  • Micro JST connectors replace DF-13. We can all breath a sigh of relief.

  • Integrated piezo speaker and safety switch

What's improved over Pixfalcon?

  • Again, improved sensors, including both primary and secondary IMU (MPU9250 and ICM20608 respectively) for much better vibration handling and increased reliability.

  • Dedicated CAN port for UAVCAN applications.

  • Includes 8-channel servo output board for planes and other vehicles requiring powered PWM output.

  • Includes I2C breakout board for a total of 5 I2C connections.

Pixhawk Mini features an advanced processor and sensor technology from ST Microelectronics® and a NuttX real-time operating system, delivering incredible performance, flexibility, and reliability for controlling any autonomous vehicle.


  • Main Processor: STM32F427 Rev 3

  • IO Processor: STM32F103

  • Accel/Gyro/Mag: MPU9250

  • Accel/Gyro: ICM20608

  • Barometer: MS5611

  • Dimensions: 38x43x12mm

  • Weight: 15.8g

GPS Module: ublox Neo-M8N GPS/GLONASS receiver; integrated magnetometer HMC5983

  • Dimensions: 37x37x12mm

  • Weight: 22.4g


  • 1 x UART Serial Port (for GPS)

  • Spektrum DSM/DSM2/DSM-X® Satellite Compatible RC input

  • Futaba S BUS® Compatible RC input

  • PPM Sum Signal RC Input

  • I2C (for digital sensors)

  • CAN (for digital motor control with compatible controllers)

  • ADC (for analog sensors)

  • Micro USB Port

What’s Included?

  • Pixhawk Mini Flight Controller

  • GPS with uBlox M8N module with  

    • Concurrent reception of up to 3 GNSS (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou)

    • Industry leading –167 dBm navigation sensitivity

    • Security and integrity protection

    • Supports all satellite augmentation systems

    • Advanced jamming and spoofing detection

    • Product variants to meet performance and cost requirements

    • Backward compatible with NEO‑7 and NEO‑6 families

  • Integrated Power Module (up to 6s batteries) and power distribution board for quadcopters


  • 8-channel servo output board for planes and other vehicles requiring powered PWM output.

  • Cables

    • 4 pin I2C cable and breakout board

    • 6 pin GPS+Compass cable

    • 6 to 6/4 ‘Y’ adapter for additional I2C devices

    • 4 JST to 6 DF13 cable for legacy telemetry radios

    • External safety switch cable

    • RCIN cable for PPM/SBUS input

    • 8 channel RC output cable

    • 6 pin power cable for included Power Distribution Board


All available here



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  • @Jerry That is a fair point.

    Some people may be disappointed and others merely confused. I am the latter. No, we do not need to automatically respect Chris Anderson. This is a site called DIYD and Chris has a done a poor job of explaining 3DR's place in the DIY world for a long time.

    But maybe Chris could explain why his company spent so much effort on this and then walked away from it, only to launch a 3DR badged version of a Hobbyking-made Pixfalcon for the DIY market. I do not understand why both could not be sold by them. For me to buy into this I would need to get the assurance from Randy and Tridge that it works well and they would need to give it their approval. And 3DR would need to have a good RMA policy--otherwise why pay the premium?

    I do not even understand why 3DR are offering this anyway as they are supposedly now a software company and there are so many other things on the market that offer the same features. It seems 2 years late.

    The Cube Black Standard Set (Standard Carrier Board) - Pixhawk2
    The standard Carrier board gives you access to the most functionality of the Pixhawk 2.1. It is not compatible with Intel Edison Chip.
  • If you guys seeing this as an irony of a losing entrepreneurship and losing integrity... I don't know why are you being so hard to a prominent editor.

    Doing open source or any lean startup need so much commitment. A full spectrum of skills, from a globally view of industry to the tiny details of a line of code, or a size of soldering pad, all tech stuff you need to bring the solution. The harder part of it is to maintain the collaborative community and get everyone motivated. You will have to communicate and understand tech, people, market, market hypes, bring everything in right place, hoping everyone delivery their commit on time, plug the battery, without smoke!

    This day, all you can read this, no matter you are lurking, trolling, supporting or paid-for commenting, all begin with a man's dream and his endeavor. No matter what you think you are lost, frustrated, mistreated, this is not all one person you could blame and being sarcasm could change your disappointment. I have to thank Chris for all the things he has brought to this world, now you need to respect.

  • All in all, the Pixhawk Mini seems a moderately interesting Pixhawk clone.


    1. It is not at all clear that a (slightly) upgraded Pixfalcon made by Hobbyking is going to be a reliable platform, there have been previous issues which strongly suggest other wise.

    2. It does not appear to have the integrity or in depth additional capabilities as found in the Pixhawk 2 - Cube, VR Brain or Ehrle brain (Which do not cost significantly more).

    3. It actually seems like if you want a small form factor Pixhawk, the Pixracer (or two or three of them) might often be a better investment than the considerably more expensive PixHawk Mini.

    My biggest problem is that it looks to me like you get more bang and integrity for your buck almost anywhere other than the Pixhawk Mini - possibly even with the original much cheaper Pixfalcon.

    And of course there are both the Intel Flight controller and the Nvidia TX1 based Teal quadcopter and the advanced TK1 based Ehrle Brain Pro flight controller if you seriously want to go over to the high end ROS (3D vision / navigation) camp.

    The TX1 Teal hasn't been released yet, but the specs are impressive with - supposedly - an electronically stabilized 4K camera. (which I will beleive when I see it, stabilizing 4K in roll is a very prodigious undertaking even for a TX1) https://tealdrones.com/

    Honestly, I offer this as a challenge - Please prove me wrong or at least give a good case for it.

    At this point, at best, it seems to me that the Pixhawk Mini offers a smaller form factor direct Chinese clone replacement for the original Pixhawk at about the same price.

    But, if it's reliable (not yet proven) that might be a good thing.

    As for the intimated improvements, I do seem to detect an undertone of marketing hyperbola or (MEH!)

    The most interesting comments are those yet to be heard from Tridge and Randy.

    Best regards,


  • Telemetry data on Frsky radio display , IMO, is fundamental .
    So for me an autopilot without two UARTS like the original Pixhawk or native Frsky telemetry  is useless .

  • Hang on... 3DR abandoned the DIY market and now they want us back?  No thanks.  I'm not going to risk another policy changed where we get dumped again...

  • Oh no, another 'Expected ship date'.

  •  Are the design files available anywhere since this is a Pixhawk derivative?

    btw  the Invensense   9250 uses   the MPU 6050 for accels/gyros, which is the same chip as the MPU 6000 in Pixhawk and Pixfalcon (except it only talks i2c, vs the 6000 talking  both i2c and spi.).Not sure how the ICM20608 compares to the STMicro of the original, but would also like to know more on how "both primary and secondary IMUs  lead to much better vibration handling and increased reliability."

  • I guess I will try one then we will know if it is any good. I am hoping that Ardupilot is quickly ported to this platform. It might not fully meet our expectation, but it does has some improvements over others. I guess this will px5 in the software stack, since px4 is taken by pixracer. If px3 used by PixHawk2?

  • @ Rob

    I doubt he was referring to that. 

    IMU reliability can mean a lot of things... Data more reliable or sensor less prone to failure. That's why I'm asking. 

  • He might be talking about the ICM20608 capability of 8000Hz data rates, which can help to prevent aliasing of the signal.  This can help prevent flight control problems due to vibration.  But there are a few problems.

    First, the software is not capable of the 8000Hz data yet.  Neither PX4 stack, nor Ardupilot.  In fact, the much-vaunted PX4 middle-ware layer actually prevents this being possible.  Ardupilot is working on 8000Hz, but we have to work around the PX4 problems.  What is PX4 doing here?

    Secondly, these aliasing problems only occur if your IMU is not isolated.  The IMU should be isolated anyway.  Because the problem is not just aliasing due to frequency, but also simply clipping.  You can't fix clipping in software.

    The Pixhawk2, employs internal vibration isolation.

    But the Pixhawk Mini, still requires the user to set up some kinda of external isolation.  Most users are not capable of engineering these systems properly, and you end up with a janky solution.

    I've been CRYING to 3DR to make an autopilot with an internal vibration isolation system.  But they just refuse.  Well, they did it with the Pixhawk2, but then refused to bring it to market as a separate autopilot.  Chris said this was because 3DR was getting out of the discrete auto-pilot business, because it was too much trouble.  The cost of technical support for hobby users was too high.  So they were just getting out of this line of business.

    But now they bring out a cheap hobby autopilot.  Without internal isolation.  I don't get it.

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