Pixhawk is Ready for Takeoff

3689562888?profile=originalAfter months of rigorous testing, we are pleased to announce that our Pixhawk autopilot is now in production and ready to ship.

Designed by the PX4 open-hardware project and manufactured by 3D Robotics, Pixhawk delivers industry-leading performance and flexibility for controlling any autonomous vehicle.

Our new Pixhawk represents a significant improvement over our standard APMs, offering enhanced reliability, robust power, a broad range of USB power options and a second sensor port – for a dual IMU system. The second sensor chip not only provides redundancy, but enables the combination of different sensor inputs.

This release follows months of beta-testing by the IRIS-Developer community.  Based on their feedback, we improved the noise immunity of the power supplies and added the MPU 6000 to supplement the LSM303D accelerometer.

We are grateful to the community for their valuable feedback.

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  • Moderator

    I will continue to use the 2.6 for simple tasks, flights like I am going to step out to do shortly. I look forward to nav solutions that take advantage of the extra horse power to fly a little more elegantly with the Pixhawk and perhaps with new sensors doing interesting stuff. All with the chance of many more waypoints.

    My money is on several RC receivers having basic autopilot functions within 5 years. Perhaps running MAVlink with a host of GCS to choose from.

    I think its time this thread is closed. The 2.6 is not going anywhere and many users will take advantage of extra horsepower which will be very much standard in 5 years time. 

  • Love it! As a professional computer engineer and software developer I understand the need to move to more capable hardware. Making new ideas work with a CPU and memory that is already maxed out requires increasing levels of complexity. That development time is simply better spent in other ways. End users won't get what they want until software developers have the hardware to charge ahead.
  • I am constantly amazed at how whiny 'techie' communities are. I don't even understand the logic behind it. It's as if they think 3DRobotics is going to say "you know what, guys, you're right. PIXHAWK and all the thousands of dollars sunk into it was a waste. We're going to go burn the remaining stock now. We CANNOT have our autopilots having too many bells and whistles. (Seriously guy, perhaps fly the plane manually if 'bells and whistles' aren't your thing) Nor can we have technological advances, because we all know APM works fine as it is, and we don't need to fix what ain't broken (completely ignoring the fact that the CPU and RAM are nearly maxed out)! Thank you, self-entitled Luddites for opening our eyes to the errors of our ways!"

  • Taylor, the minute we have some Pixhawk-only features, a bunch of APM owners will complain.  Basically, no matter what happens, some people are going to complain. <shrug>

  • imu isolate should be very important for a new fc which claim than advanced plateform and professional

  • Just to be clear for everyone wondering why some people have received their Pixhawks already, those were from the first small batch of boards built and sent only to our developers. This is an effort to insure any possible bugs are worked out of the production process before shipping them to everyone. There will be enough quantity in the initial full production run to fulfill the Pixhawk backorders and the developer release Iris customers.  All of these orders will be shipping ASAP.


    To further answer your question, Pixhawk has provisions for all three of the bus protocols you mention: SPI, I2C, and CAN.

    For those asking about vibration isolation, there is no internal isolation solution in place. This is accomplished with external isolation when mounting the Pixhawk case to the craft, same as the APM.

  • It seems there is no real value added for MANY existing users compared to APM...
    To roll out a new platform without much change on the user end is what makes it feel liked planed obsolescence(even though it's not)
    I understand 200 is very cheap for the work that went in to it, but the fact that we don't see much added benefits over APM is why people are a little let down. ..
    While it has new features, most seem more targeted towards developers and very advanced users....
    I hope with all the extra power we will see new features down the road and then people will appreciate the new platform...
    (And having to rewire everything for the new connectors and having to buy extra stuff to hook up a standard radio also seem more like drawbacks than advantages...)
    Plus my 2.6 still works fine.... why fix what isn't broke?
    Thanks for the responses and please don't be insulted... APM is a great platform from 3DR and I'm sure this and future platforms will be also!
  • The only advantage of arduino is that it has that cheesy and useless programming interface where you just press the upload button - end of story.

    That cheesy interface is what allowed a lot of talented people, who many not have been professional programmers, be able to contribute their efforts to the program.  The program would not be where it is today of participation was restricted only to professional software designers.  That is the benefit of using a "cheesy" IDE.

    If you think you could do better with a more professional development platform and a faster chip, then please show us what you can do.  Until then, I would prefer to see less arm-chair quarterbacking.

  • On a general note, was this this kind of backlash present when APM was phased out for APM2.0? Or when Ardupilot was phased out for APM?

    Yes, absolutely.  Every step of the way. Some people don't like change. Some people think that it's planned obsolescence (even though the software has been backwards compatible...)

    Personally, I don't understand why anybody would think that $200 is "too expensive" for a professional grade flight controller.  To look only at the BOM is to completely undervalue everything that has gone into the creation of this entire project.  Ardupilot is more than the sum of it's parts.  I always find it personally insulting when people say $200 is too much money for what they're getting.

  • Moderator

    The only advantage of arduino is that it has that cheesy and useless programming interface where you just press the upload button - end of story.

    Crash, I beg to differ. I feel it was the community surrounding Arduino. Appealing to a strong existing community of known hackers and makers just made sense. Whether or not this was a + or -; well, business-wise it was a great choice!

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