Following up with the PixHawk Fire Cape (PXF) series that was started a while ago, I'm happy to announce the PXFmini, an open autopilot shield for the Raspberry Pi. This autopilot shield allows anyone to create ready-to-fly autopilots with support for Dronecode’s APM flight stack priced at only 69 €. The shield has been designed with low cost in mind and specially for the Raspbery Pi Zero (it is also compatible with other Raspberry Pi boards). Find below some of its features:


A tiny yet powerful design

The PXFmini shield weighs only 15 grams and on it’s 31mm x 71 mm embeds all the power electronics necessary to comply with most of the existing components for drones using its 2xI2C and UART ports.

The design is based on previous iterations with proper APM upstream support and provides 8 PWM output channels as well as a PPMSUM input.


A shield for sensing

PXFmini includes a 9 axes IMU (MPU9250), a digital barometer (MS5611) and an ADC for voltage measurements.


An improved experience

Forget about breaking those DF13 connectors. We’ve decided to bet on the new JST GH connectors (adopted by the Dronecode Foundation) to provide an amazing new experience. We’ve also partnered with manufacturers to provide DF13 to JST GH converters.


Open design

All the schematics are open for you to hack around. They’ll be released as soon as the boards start shipping. Shipping will start in early February 2016.


We made a short clip closing the year where we show the board:



Thanks everyone and merry christmas!

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  • I almost considered the pxfmini except for the fact that it uses the PCA chip. with this chip all pwm pins will run at the same frequency from what i understand. One of the main reasons that emlid does not use it on their current navio2 board and uses an stm32. But I am pretty sure erle is knowledgeable on the short comings of the PCA chip.  You would think the benefits of the stm32 would outweigh the cost to be included on the pxfmini.

  • For those interested,

    Lander, one of my team-mates just made a great video on how to assemble the PXFmini:


  • Hi Patrick, Boards arrive next week and will start shipping ASAP.

    The shield uses a PCA (it was discussed previously here) but i don't discard making one that uses the STM32F1 with the next big batch.

    Sorry, but no, for now we won't bundle the Pi0.


  • Hello Victor,

    When should we expect availability ?

    What chip drives the pwm (PCA9685 or STM32F103 or other) ?

    Can you get Pi Zero for the Bundle?

    Best Regards

  • The SPI port is used by the IMU and SPI sensors thereby although it's exposed in the Pi Zero header i wouldn't recommend using it.

  • Distributor

    Is the SPI port available for other use in the Pi after attaching the PXFMini?

  • After flying the Erle and Navio+ I'm down for the MCU approach as well.  Was about to pull the trigger on a Navio2, but with a lonely zero the pxf mini is looking really good.  Really liking your price point!!

  • @JB thanks for your words. Noted the interest towards a microcontroller-based version.

    With regard the "non-shield" version. Can you elaborate a bit more? What'll be the aim of this board?

  • This is cool...I'd like to order a few. Nice to see it here only a few weeks after we discussed it a few weeks back.

    But I'd prefer to see a MCU used instead of the PCA, even a ARM M0+ core version should do the trick and would include CAN as well. Victor I'd also like to see a "non-shield" version using the new iMX7. Would you look at doing something like that?

  • Happy new year everyone!

    @Tony, indeed. Have a look at http://erlerobotics.com/docs/Artificial_Brains_and_Autopilots/PXF_s... for starters. Support for the PXFmini will come in our next Debian Jessie release ("denim").

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