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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  • This is the electronic map in the iris??

  • i don t understand why you change sensors......these are less good than actuall we have on apm2.5

    what do you change it?

    others things i dislike: connectors!

    so for me,i prefer to stay on my actuall apm with atmega

  • Comment by Adam Erickson 1 second agoDelete Comment

    I think this is an exciting development, though a bit easy to predict. This will be great transition hardware toward embedded Linux. I have to confess that I was really hoping for an autopilot using something like the 1 GHz processor and 2 GB flash memory from my BeagleBone Black, which also has a micro-SD card slot. Autopilots running embedded Linux with this kind of hardware, like the commercial development boards used by MIT robotics researchers, still run in the thousands of dollars. I see no reason why a $45 embedded Linux board with an IMU and some other bits (no onboard GPS or magnetometer needed) should cost that much. I'll be curious to see how the PX4 performs compared to my APM 2.5, though I've read that the PX4 is much faster and able to compete with NAZA on hardware (I imagine the new software will be similar too). The switch to Linux will certainly increase power consumption and at 168 MHz and 2 MB flash, I would think the speeds would not be super quick. My $25 700MHz RaspberryPi is no speed demon, but it would run laps around a 168MHz processor. Perhaps these efforts should merge? They are both run by universities. This will be a nice step from my APM 2.5 and NAZA, for PX5 I'd love to see a 1GHz+ processor with ample onboard flash for sensor data (no cards to come loose or fail) in the future. I think this is a big step in the right direction for the community though and I look forward to picking one up.

  • Developer

    Hi Dimitri,

    The dual RSSI support is because some receivers provide a voltage, some provide a PWM signal to indicate RSSI. This is just another member of the PX4 board family and combines FMU and IO into one board called PIXHAWK. There is no plan to drop availability or software support for FMU, and while this board is the "support everything" version, there is medium term clearly still the room for something smaller.

  • Very impressive features!

    Regarding RSSI: I see both PWM and analog signals supported, is this because of new hardware or is it something we will see in PX4 too ? I'm guessing it's out of question for the APM being already near its processing limits.

    Regarding PX4: Is it getting discontinued after Pixhawk is released ? Any chance we will see an updated PX4 ? I really liked its size, built two small quads around them, and Pixhawk looks like it won't be suitable for micros/nanos.

  • Developer

    Weight and Dimensions:

    • Weight: 38g (1.31oz)
    • Width: 50mm (1.96")
    • Thickness: 15.5mm (.613")
    • Length: 81.5mm (3.21")
  • Will it be possible to buy the 4-in-1 separately from the Iris?

  • 3D Robotics

    Ilya: No, the regular 3DR Power Module

  • Chris, when you say it will come with a power module, are you referring to the 4 in 1 ESC/Power module that was in the "Iris Details #1" post, or something else?

    Also, I still think the text is backwards, but I suppose I can live with that.

  • I think that the case should still have mounting holes, just in case someone wants to hard mount it to a pre-vibration-dampened frame. Besides that, it looks great, and with a good price point too!

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