VR Brain 5 (PRO) vs VR Micro Brain vs Pixhawk



* Pro is only on request and customizable , the PRO IMU could be also based on Maxim , Analog Device and ST mems. * The two expansion bus support indipendent i2c , spi and some some specific I/O for manage multiple chipset. On expansion bus it's available also wifi module with specific nuttx driver. Ask for more info.

As request from some user i try to do a matrix comparison chart , if there are some error on Pixhawk help me to correct please :) 


After the VR micro Brain 5 here finally get the VR Brain 5.
Sorry for the long wait but we had to work a lot on the operating system, new driver and all the infrastructure to support the mission planner firmware repository.

Today the board is  available on the store.
Here are the first pictures of the oem version, I prefer to show you the board without enclosure because  it's a jewel of technology :)

It will initially be available in the basic version. Only for more experienced users that join our advanced dev program will be available version that supports up to 3 SPI IMU  with (Acc , Gyro , Magnetometer and barometer ) . In advanced configuration the board support until 2 VR Multiconstellation GPS Ublox 8  
Provides CAN Bus with driver on board, SD Card, and realtime operating system NuttX RTOS operating sysyem.

Full tech specification :


  • CPU:
    • ARM CortexM4F microcontroller with DSP and FPU.
    • 1024KiB di flash , 192KiB of RAM.
    • 1 SD Card Slot support until 64 gigabyte.
    •  Jtag support for onboard realtime debugging.
  • IMU Sensor:
    • mems accelerometer and gyroscope (different option , available pro certify ,too ) 
    • barometer with  10 cm resolution.
    • 2  SPI expansion BUS for optional IMU
    • 1  sonar input.
  • RC 
    • 6 RC INPUT standard PPM.
    • 1 PPMSUM 
    • 1 ARM Switch
    • 1 SBUS input compatible with  Futaba and  FRKSY technology. 
    • 8 RC output ( 60 - 490 hz ) , 4 optional RC output ( in SBUS mode)
  • Expansion BUS
    • 1 CAN BUS .
    • 2 serial port for interface VR GPS Ublox 8
    • 1 i2c bus for magnetometer connection.
  • Additional IN - OUT
    • 3 Output Switch digitali (ULN2003) 2 LED 1 BUZZER.
    • 1 input for voltage control.
    • 1 input for current control.
  • Dimension 6x4.
  • Available plastic and aluminium case as option.

IDE and development kit . 

  • Eclipse IDE.
  • Arm GCC Toolchain.
  • Support real time debug .


For this platform are available many libraries developed by the community Virtualrobotix and Diydrones. 

Native support of the operating system Nuttx rev 6.20 to 7.30. 

Bootloading and Automatic Update standard and custom firmware. 

Repository Server with native support Mission Planner 32 and 64 bit.

The supported UAV firmware are  : APM Copter, Plane and Rover

Our dev team support and improve VRBrain NuttX operating systems and AP_HAL_VRBRAIN . The Hardware Abstraction Layer for integration with APM firwmare enviroment. 

The mini site is available at :

For more info send a mail to :


The link where you can buy the board and find more info is this:

For this product is available a professional customer support program. University and Research Lab use VRBrain 5 in advanced research project. Join to our pro dev team today :) Some company that want certify their drone ask the support to our dev team for support during the qualification test .

For more info send a mail to 

original blog post :

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  • Hi Robert
    Not the pixhawk but the original from
  • Hi Raymond. Thanks for your reply. Yes I have looked at the PX4. I would like something smaller. Its bigger than the APM and there are a few who managed to shrink it. The VRBrain looked promising in that respect. Maybe it can't be done, but here's hoping.


  • Hi Robert
    Have you looked at the px4?
  • Hi Roberto

    I guess what I was looking for was something smaller than the Pixhawk, with at least all the inputs on the APM, and the better code features of 32 bit.

    So I find it disappointing that the micro cannot read current and voltage at the same time (like the APM). I think that's a pretty basic requirement. If I have it wrong please correct me!

    Still like it, but my search for a smaller Pixhawk continues

    So thanks for the comparison,


  • hi Roberto, 

    how can we feed telemetry module on vrubrain, i see only 3.3v connector. Do we need a 5v ubec ?

  • @Roberto
    I'd appreciate if you could try vrubrain with DSM yourself and update the docs on accordingly.
    Thats the official page for information w.r.t. the vrubrain and the same question was given there as comment about 2 month ago already.

    vrubrain is either current or voltage, voltage is built in, current is extra.
  • Roberto

    I like the smaller form factor of both the mirco and Pro compared with the Pixhawk. Good for small wings, and quads.

    I like the micro especially for this reason.  But I did not realise it could not read current (if I read your matrix correctly!). Could it read current with a current sensor on the right port?

    Also for the pro board- do the dimensions include the headers?


  • Thanks Roberto.

  • Moderator

    Hi Apfel ,

    this is an example of inverter that we used for brain 4 and sbus , you can use same cable for VruBrain and Spektrum , you can try with standard code could be work . Now i'm out of lab , and don't have a spektrum receiver with me .... the next week came back to Italy and i can check for you.



  • @Robero - great news.
    Can you point me to documentation how to use dsm sats with vrubrain?
    It will require special firmware - not a problem.
    It will require soldering - not a problem.

    I just need to know what to do.
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