Autopilots and hardware, how to understand it?


I have a real mix in my head right now. Trying to understand what are pros and cons of ardupilot, px4, pixhawk, navio2, erle, pixhawk2, software, hardware… I cannot decide what is better for me which is very unique in other products you can compare something or go to PC world and check laptop, smartphone or whatever, here I am a bit lost.

What I need drone for:

  • It will be a project which I want to blog about. All my experience positive and negative.
  • My idea is to build a drone which do ‘something’ it is not yet fully determined but I would like to create a basic autonomous drone which automatically will be able to flight inside and around my house. To do that I would like either be able to control an autopilot with my raspberry pi or be able to get a source code extend it for a functionality and download to a drone.
  • It need to have as much as possible sensors including GPS (I live in UK in very cloudy area I would prefer to have a not bad GPS module).
  • I am planning to work on small android control panel which will be communicating with the drone over wifi so it also must have wifi module.

To let you know I don’t have anything at all. I will be building whole drone from scratch.

I am considering:
APM vs PX4
Navio2 vs Erle


APM uses 8biy CPU and no longer has firmware updates, px4 uses 32bit and still in active development, but reaching limits of memory/CPU, so APM Vs px4, px4 is better

More recently we have been moving to more powerful hardware for more advanced functions so boards like navio/Earle plug into raspberry pi to have loads more computing power. Also pixhawk 2 has the option to use Edison module.

Also within each of those base plaforms there are several different boards to choose from just to add the the confusion :wink:.

Hope that helps explain a little

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Hi Unmannedtech,

Yes, it helped as It is very hard to get good comparison of both flight controller software, there is not much concretes especially according to software development.

Also I decided to go with navio2 as they have some pros like better documentation, gps module on the board and I already had an raspberry pi on my desk which didn’t do much. On top of that my order is around £500 and I will get everything I needed which is a little bargain in compare to earle :slight_smile: (But of course for some earle could be cheaper option as they sell whole kit so buyer doesn’t need to know exactly what is needed to build a drone).


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Hi. I am trying to build my quadcopter and i am using 4esc with brushless motors, with arduino uno. I am also using the servo library and sending pulses to the escs. In the initial lift though the drone lifts and turns in one direction. Thats the code for sending the pulses.


My thoughts for the drone that turns in one direction is that motor1 gets the pulses before the other motors, and because of the time lag this causes it to turn towards motor1 direction. Any feedback guys for the cause of this problem and if thats the case how can i solve it?


Hi Unmannedtech,
I want to ask about can we reprogram source code flight controller?