Almost exactly one year after the first PX4 announcement, we would like to introduce our newest member of the family, Pixhawk! For those familiar with the existing PX4 electronics, it is the all-in-one board combining PX4FMU + PX4IO, combined with a processor and sensor update and a number of new features. The current board revisions will however remain in full service and active development and are fully compatible. Pixhawk is designed for improved ease of use and reliability while offering unprecedented safety features compared to existing solutions.

Pixhawk is designed by the PX4 open hardware project and manufactured by 3D Robotics. It features the latest processor and sensor technology from ST Microelectronics which delivers incredible performance and reliability at low price points.

The flexible PX4 middleware running on the NuttX Real-Time Operating System brings multithreading and the convenience of a Unix / Linux like programming environment to the open source autopilot domain, while the custom PX4 driver layer ensures tight timing. These facilities and additional headroom on RAM and flash will allow Pixhawk the addition of completely new functionalities like programmatic scripting of autopilot operations.

The PX4 project offers its own complete flight control stack, and projects such as APM:Copter and APM:Plane have ported their software to run as flight control applications. This allows existing APM users to seamlessly transition to the new Pixhawk hardware and lowers the barriers to entry for new users to participate in the exciting world of autonomous vehicles.

The flagship Pixhawk module will be accompanied by new peripheral options, including a digital airspeed sensor, support for an external multi-color LED indicator and an external magnetometer. All peripherals are automatically detected and configured.


  • 32 bit ARM Cortex M4 Processor running NuttX RTOS

  • 14 PWM / Servo outputs (8 with failsafe and manual override, 6 auxiliary,

    high-power compatible)

  • Abundant connectivity options for additional peripherals (UART, I2C, CAN)

  • Integrated backup system for in-flight recovery and manual override with

    dedicated processor and stand-alone power supply

  • Backup system integrates mixing, providing consistent autopilot and manual

    override mixing modes

  • Redundant power supply inputs and automatic failover

  • External safety switch

  • Multicolor LED main visual indicator

  • High-power, multi-tone piezo audio indicator

  • microSD card for long-time high-rate logging

  • 32bit STM32F427 Cortex M4 core with FPU

  • 168 MHz

  • 256 KB RAM

  • 2 MB Flash

  • 32 bit STM32F103 failsafe co-processor

  • ST Micro L3GD20H 16 bit gyroscope

  • ST Micro LSM303D 14 bit accelerometer / magnetometer

  • MEAS MS5611 barometer

  • 5x UART (serial ports), one high-power capable, 2x with HW flow control

  • 2xCAN

  • Spektrum DSM / DSM2 / DSM-X® Satellite compatible input

  • Futaba S.BUS® compatible input and output

  • PPM sum signal

  • RSSI (PWM or voltage) input

  • I2C®

  • SPI

  • 3.3 and 6.6V ADC inputs

  • External microUSB port

Power System and Protection

  • Ideal diode controller with automatic failover

  • Servo rail high-power (up to 10V) and high-current ready (10A +)

  • All peripheral outputs over-current protected, all inputs ESD protected

  • Monitoring of system and servo rails, over current status monitoring of peripherals


  • Weight: 38g (1.31oz)

  • Width: 50mm (1.96")

  • Thickness: 15.5mm (.613")

  • Length: 81.5mm (3.21") 


This announcement is a service to our users and developers to allow them to plan their hardware roadmaps in time, and to show what we're currently working on. The board will not be immediately available, but 3D Robotics is taking pre-orders for Pixhawk now, and will begin shipping in late October [Update 11/11: the current expected ship date is late Nov]. The price is $199.99.

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  • So.... if I'm looking for an autopilot to say, be controlled by an onboard Raspberry Pi on a quadcopter, what kind of interfaces would I have with this system? I'm looking to do a study on creating both a long range and mesh network that can be created by either a string of quadcopters or a triangle, depending on the requirement. We would start with Raspberry Pi's and adhoc wifi between the copters and a "Ground server," and use the signal strength details of the wifi from the Raspberry Pi to find the optimal position to get the best range and signal, which means we need the Raspberry Pi to be able to send commands to the autopilot in flight as well as receive GPS data from the autopilot. All of the wifi signal algorithms will be handled by the onboard Raspberry Pi, so it should be as simple as giving the entire system a start GPS point and an end, and letting the quadcopters figure out what the best place to land is. I just need to be able to tell the autopilot to go to this certain guided point, land, take off, and come home, most likely using mavlink commands. What kind of options do I have for the interface? Could I just use the USB port directly? Thanks in advance! I think this is a really attractive option for people like me, who have a tight low end college project budget and big ambitions.

  • Developer


    I've been testing flying the new digital airspeed sensor over the last few days, and it looks really good. The most my plane has reached is a bit over 60 m/s, but in bench tests it shows up to 120m/s (over 400km/h).

    I'm sure you'll see an announcement with the details on the new airspeed sensor soon.

    Cheers, Tridge

  • @Joe i didn't mean i want NAZA, i just prefer if new board would be more simple to integrate, with vibro-isolation solution and etc

  • ahh. that clarifies a lot?
    and does the 3.3V ADC supply 3.3V?  
    and what about the PX4 airspeed sensor: would it be digital or utilize some other differential pressure chip (please tell me something in the ~300kph range :) ) 

  • Developer

    Sorry for the brevity in my comment. The supply voltage on all ports (as on any PX4 board) is 5V. The voltage just indicates the absolute maximum rating for the input voltage the ADC should read. There are protection resistors to rule out a damage of the ADC, but you should not exceed 6.6V on this port.

  • What sensor would it be based on? 
    BTW if you connect a 5v to sensor to an 6,6V ADC it could damage it (if I think correctly the supply voltage is also 6,6v? )

  • Developer

    Wojciech, you will want to use the digital airspeed sensor that will be available with it, as it offers a much better offset, temperature stability, noise rejection and resolution. If your question just is about the general ADC capabilities: You have two 3.3V ADC inputs and one 6.6V ADC input (so yes, you can connect a 5V sensor to the port on the bottom of the picture).

  • Is there a way to easily connect it to an 5V Analog sensor? like a airspeed sensor mpxv 5004dp ?

  • sensors - i am quite happy with the st mems devices:


    i made a few test with the mpu6000 and must admit the st variant flies somewhat better.

    to reduce possible noise i read the mems devices at a 1khz rate and feed the ekf at one third of this.

    to me the result is exelent!

  • @Anton, OK, so what are you reading this for then.

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