Pixhawk by 3D Robotics

The Pixhawk Flight Controller by 3D Robotics is at the fore-front of our SKY-Hero platforms.  It is used exclusively in our SPYDER PX4 700 and PX8 1000 sized aerial solutions.


Pixhawk Flight Controller

Backed by thousands of community members and developers, this new advanced autopilot system delivers incredible performance, flexibility and reliability for controlling any autonomous vehicle.

Pixhawk’s advanced features (with GPS module) include waypoint navigation and mapping, GPS positioning and follow-me mode, return to launch, automatic takeoff and landing, failsafe capabilities, and geo-fencing. Pixhawk options include a digital airspeed sensor, support for an external multi-color LED indicator and an external magnetometer.

Pixhawk offers advanced processor and sensor technology from 32-bit ST Microelectronics® and a NuttX real-time operating system, and was designed in collaboration with PX4, Zurich, Switzerland. 3DRobotics is the exclusive hardware manufacturer of PX4 electronics.


  • Processor
    • 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 core with FPU
    • 168 Mhz/256 KB RAM/2 MB Flash
    • 32-bit failsafe co-processor
  • Sensors
    • MPU6000 as main accel and gyro
    • ST Micro 16-bit gyroscope
    • ST Micro 14-bit accelerometer/magnetometer
    • MEAS barometer
  • Power
    • Ideal diode controller with automatic failover
    • Servo rail high-power (7 V) and high-current ready
    • All peripheral outputs over-current protected, all inputs ESC protected
  • Interfaces
    • 5x UART serial ports, 1 high-power capable, 2x with HW flow control
    • Spektrum DSM/DSM2/DSM-X Satellite input
    • Futaba S.BUS input (output not yet implemented)
    • PPM sum signal
    • RSSI (PWM or voltage) input
    • I2C, SPI, 2x CAN, USB
    • 3.3 and 6.6 ADC inputs
  • Dimensions
    • Weight 38 g (1.3 oz)
    • Width 50 mm (2.0”)
    • Height 15.5 mm (.6”)
    • Length 81.5 mm (3.2”)

Pixhawk Connector Assignments


pixhawk status LEDs definition


Pixhawk System Features

  • The Pixhawk flight controller is a further evolution of the PX4 flight controller system. Pixhawk consists of a PX4-FMU controller and a PX4-IO integrated on a single board with additional IO, Memory and other features.
  • It is highly optimized to provide control and automation for APM flight navigation software with high performance and capacity. Pixhawk allows current APM and PX4 operators to seamlessly transition to this system and lowers the barriers to entry for new users.
  • The NuttX real-time operating system, features high performance, flexibility, and reliability for controlling any autonomous vehicle.
  • A Unix/Linux-like programming environment, Integrated multithreading and autopilot functions such as Lua scripting of missions and flight behavior provide powerful development capabilities.
  • A custom PX4 driver layer ensures tight timing across all processes.
  • New peripheral options will include a digital airspeed sensor, support for an external multi-color LED indicator and an external magnetometer.
  • All peripherals are automatically detected and configured.
  • A very powerful 32-bit processor with an additional failsafe backup controller and extensive memory.
    • STM32F427 32-bit primary microcontroller: 168 MHz, 252 MIPS, Cortex M4 core with a floating point unit.
    • Two megabytes of Flash program memory and 256 kilobytes of RAM.
    • STM32F103 backup failsafe 32-bit co-processor provides for manual recovery and has its own power supply.
    • Socket for a plug in micro SD memory card for data logging and other uses.
  • Advanced sensor profile
    • 3 axis 16-bit ST Micro L3GD20H gyro for determining orientation.
    • 3 axis 14-bit accelerometer and magnetometer for determining outside influences and compass heading.
    • Provision for external magnetometer with automatic switch-over if desired.
    • MEAS MS5611 barometric pressure sensor for determining altitude.
    • Built in voltage and current sensing for battery condition determination.
    • Connection for an externally mountable UBLOX LEA GPS for determining absolute position.
  • Extensive I/O interfaces with dedicated connectors
    • Fourteen PWM servo or ESC speed control outputs.
    • Five UART (serial ports), one high-power capable, 2x with HW flow control.
    • Two CAN I/O ports (one with internal 3.3V transceiver, one on expansion connector)
    • Spektrum DSM / DSM2 / DSM-X® Satellite reciever compatible input: Permits use of Spektrum RC Transmitters.
    • Futaba S.BUS® compatible input and output.
    • PPM sum signal input.
    • RSSI (PWM or voltage) input.
    • I2C and SPI serial ports.
    • Two 3.3 volt and one 6.6 volt Analog inputs.
    • Internal microUSB port and external microUSB port extension.
    • Contains its own on board microcontroller and stacks with the FMU.
  • Comprehensive power system with redundancy and extensive protection.
    • The Pixhawk is supplied with an in line power supply with voltage and current sensor outputs.
    • Ideal diode controller with redundant power supply inputs and automatic fail-over.
    • Servo rail high-power (max. 10V) and high-current (10A+) ready.
    • All peripheral outputs are over-current protected and all inputs ESD protected.
    • The provided external safety button enables safe motor activation / deactivation.
    • LED status indicators and driver for high brightness external multicolored LED to indicate flight status.
    • High-power, multi-tone piezo audio indicator also informs of current flight status.
    • Available high performance UBLOX GPS plus external Magnetometer in protective case.
    • Weight: 38g (1.31oz), Width: 50mm (1.96″), Thickness: 15.5mm (.613″), Length: 81.5mm (3.21″)