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.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Brian,

    You would need to give the Pixhawk a 5v power supply and a vibration isolated mount

    Provide PPM RC inputs (you can use an encoder if needed)

    GPS and magnetometer input, signal out to your ESCs

    Mount the safety switch and buzzer.

    Those are the basics. I don't have any first hand experience with the X830, but I'm sure it would be fairly straightforward. 

  • I'm actually really curious about what Airware will come up with. They haven't really given out much information or press conferences about their OS.

  • Certainly. It would have to have a number of other things too. But, if you can get such a powerful components for so cheap, you have a great basis for the next iteration of affordable and powerful autopilot systems. Checkout the Airware autopilots. I think 3DR could do it much cheaper with open source development.

  • @ Adam,

    Odroid is a fine embedded PC but with a major drawback: It doesn't have any GPIO pins.

    That means that if you are to drive any servo outputs with it, you need to have a cooperating microcontroller onboard as well.

  • Well the x830 was 900.00 and all I would like to do is install the Mission planning software and autopilot features. I did not think that you would have to "gut" the quad. I was hoping for just an add on. I am wondering if this is a difficult task or not.


  • Forget the BeagleBone Black SoC, this gets my pick for next Pixhawk platform, with embedded computer vision I hope given that this has a solid GPU and support OpenCLI and OpenGL: http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php

    I can't wait to hear the Pixhawk reviews! If you receive one, please give the community your impression.

  • At Brian - Why would you gut a $2,000 quad to install another multi-rotor FC?

  • How hard would it be to install one of these units on a Turbo Ace x-830? This looks like a nice feature to have and i would love to have it.


  • Thank you for your quick response Chris. Makes me feel good to know you care about your customers. Wish some of the other sellers out there took customer service as serious as you guys.

  • 3D Robotics

    Butch, Tom is a developer and got a pre-release version. The consumer ones started shipping this week, in the order that orders were received. There are more than a 1,000 going out, and even at a rate of 100 a day it will take a couple weeks for the last of the pre-orders to be filled. 

This reply was deleted.