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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  • I noticed on the 3DR Web Site that Iris no longer says 2 - 4 weeks shipping. Does this mean there is another delay? It just says we will be notified. I am curious what the hold up is if the Pixhawk is released. Not complaining, just trying to decide whether to wait or build my own.

  • I bet opening up the MavLink protocol on the MP side via IP sockets, serial, USB AND BlueTooth would spark a lot of innovation.

  • There are various incarnations of combined RF functionality already. RVOSD G6 will have UHF TxRx, RFD900 will have RC control module, TSLRS will have a Telemetry module.

    For me, blue tooth implementation for Antenna Tracker and OSD would be sweet. And if we could get the Pixhawk to FW update without a USB cable, sweeter yet. Btw, when are the promised optional components going to be available.

  • just came up with another use: stream mavlink to an android client with hud/telemetry data. you can mount it on the RCtx. also quick and easy to use/ easy to see mode change. for pixhawk possibility of more than 6 flight modes. yay, where is the MP feature suggestion thread I'll go post it there!  

  • Very nice ideas....

  • sorry for the off topic.... 

  • maybe its time to teach MP to use bluetooth? It will be beneficial for many aspects, bluetooth receiver to re-transmit mavlink to the antenna station for tracking and into the minimosd on the ground right before the video enters our glasses. like this:  MP via bluetooth sends mavlink onto an arduino board with another bluetooth module, this arduino board than controls 2 servos for the antenna pan/tilt + re-transmits mavlink to the minimosd which overlays hud/telemetry data onto the video feed. there are plenty of arduino/bluetooth libraries and the ardutracker software is as old as the apm itself. the only thing left is bluetooth support for MP :). 3DR please make it happen! you can even make it closed source plugin for MP and charge money for it! 

  • Bruce, another advantage of doing the OSD on the ground, that I've heard from, is even if you lose the video feed, you will have the HUD display, so you could probably still keep it off the ground.

  • I agree this is a little off topic unless of course you look at it as suggestions for Pixhawk version 2?

    Your point about adding the osd at the ground end is an excellent idea.
    Often when I fly FPV I give a second pair of goggles to another.
    I need to see the osd but they don't.
  • As long as we're talking about integrating - include OSD functionality in the flight controller too.  There are just too many parts adding weight and failure points on these systems.

    I've also wondered why OSD functionality is done on the craft - if we're sending back telemetry, why not do the video fusion on the ground-station side.  We already have this functionality in the Planner's HUD display, we just need to get it into our goggles.  You'd save weight and power on the craft and probably have info with better quality video in your goggles.  And you may have better range than you would with a pure video signal

    This is going a bit off topic....

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