PX4 and 3D Robotics Launch New Pixhawk Autopilot for UAVs

By Caroline Rees / 30 Aug 2013
Pixhawk UAV Autopilot

The Pixhawk Autopilot for UAVs

The PX4 Project and 3D Robotics have announced the arrival of Pixhawk — an advanced open-hardware autopilot design for multirotors, fixed-wing aircraft, ground rovers and amphibious vehicles. 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. Advanced PX4 firmware layers ensure tight timing of operations and allow the addition of completely new functionalities like direct programmatic scripting of autopilot operations.

The flagship Pixhawk module will be accompanied by new peripheral options, including support for a digital airspeed sensor, external multi-color LED indicator and external magnetometer. All peripherals are automatically detected and configured.

Features

  • 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
  • Redundant power supply inputs and automatic failover
  • External safety switch
  • Multicolor LED visual indicator
  • High-power, multi-tone piezo audio indicator
  • microSD card for extended-time high-rate logging

Specifications
Microprocessor:

  • 32 bit STM32F427 Cortex M4 core with FPU
  • 168 MHz/256 KB RAM/2 MB Flash
  • 32 bit STM32F103 failsafe co-processor

Sensors and Peripherals:

  • 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
  • 2x CAN
  • 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 6.6 V ADC input
  • Servo rail high-power (7 V) and high current ready
  • All peripheral outputs over-current protected, all inputs ESD protected

Weight and Dimensions:

  • 38 g (1.31 oz)
  • 50 x 16 x 82 mm (2 x 0.6 x 3.2”)
Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact