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 :

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

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

Join diydrones


  • Moderator

    Hi Lorentz,

    i'm happy if you help me to improve quality of matrix , i do this only because some user at begin ask to me to do the matrix ... About the price is not simple because the price depend also to other factor as for example the tax and transportation . For example i don't know the price of Pixhawk if it is with or without tax .  If you buy the pixhawk in us the price is 199 if you buy in europe could be 190 euro

    So about the price my opinion is to put official price that for VR Brain is in euro but we don't have a official price for U.S. And Pixhawk is in $ and don't have official price for Europe .

    I can share this matrix to who would help me to do that no problem for me :)  About the PX4 native flight stack i forget sorry :)  

    About the WIP is not already available is possible by the hardware  but our team are working on firmware to have that feature . On standard VRBrain without Nuttx we have 8 pwm input on Nuttx version only 6 for a timer iusse . We are working to solve it . ARM Switch is available as hardware input but not already finish the test will be available in the next release .

    The main difference VRBrain vs Pixhawk is that Pixhawk have 2 CPU Main CPU + Failsafe CPU . 

    Our VRBrain 5 design is derived from VRBrain 4 available on the market 1 year before the Pixhwak board so can support also the revision of firmware without operating system  .  I prefer mantain 1 CPU approach for simplify the design and reliability of the board. About the failsafe we choose to have a cluster approach .

    About the actual revision of APM firmware all main functionality present on Failsafe CPU is available on VR Brain main cpu + the support of PWM IN 6 (2 wip) . 

    If you want to help to fix the matrix i can share it with you 



  • Developer

    @Roberto: I think comparison matrices are great for users, but also quite delicate if not done by a 3rd party, so please allow a few comments: Its quite interesting how you compare weight (with and without enclosure, or like some would say, apples and oranges) and prices (Euro and USD). In particular since Pixhawk is with 17g (without enclosure) and with $199 (vs. $235) looking better in these dimensions. If you compare features, you might also want to list all features of the failsafe processor and if you list firmwares, you might want to list the PX4 native flight stack. And I'm slightly confused by the many work in progress / WIP statements - are you comparing actual user-available boards and features or merely intentions?


  • @ Roberto

    Thanks for checking out about the CAN bus. 

    I personally think that will be always good to have 2 separate BUS lines, one for "Critical" devices ( ESC - Airspeed) and one for " not critical" ( Payload, OSD... ) 

  • Moderator


    sorry in the reference there is an error the current input is not present on VRuBrain but is present in Pixhawk  on standard VR Brain is present. Now i prepar an update with more detail and change the slide sorry for the mistake.

    About the custom cable is a simple transistor no more and you can connect to SBUS to re invert the signal in input. The firmware support the signal and can decode it .

  • @Roberto

    The VRuBrain has a single connector which can be used for voltage OR current sensoring.
    So claiming both in the matrix is at least slightly off.

    Spektrum DSM Satellite support was advertised by yourself in this place:
    "1 SBUS Radio Input compatible with Futaba SBUS and Spektrum ,too"

    So far there is neither code in the VRBrain Nuttx nor anything else to support Spektrum Satellites.
    Pointing to a conversion cable is not exactly the reaction I was looking for.
    I was hoping for a date for the delivery of this feature or a simple statement you won't support it.
  • T3


    thanks for the details!

    So it will (at some point) be possible to connect to VR Brains where one is a master and one a slave for failsafe?

    Will this be possible with the current VR Brains or is some hardware update required?

    Best regards,


  • Moderator


    I check the schematics and i found on pixhawk only 1 full can bus with driver the second is only pin from micro but without driver so isn't usable without external hardware . I think that on VRBrain 5 i have the second can available on the header but no sense to put in can usable.

  • Moderator

    @Vladimir ,

    could be that hardware support Paparazzi firmware but at the moment we don't have guys on our community that work on it.

  • Moderator


    i don't know what kind of failsafe support in apm support failsafe only for plane , could be the same ... for failsafe in Virtualrobotix are working on cluster interface for realtime swap the control from master Autopilot to slave. 



  • Moderator


    thank i check and update.

This reply was deleted.