On-board Flight Control Software for Pixhawk Family of Controllers
There are 2 major camps when it comes to the software that runs on-board the vehicles: PX4 Native Stack, and ArduPilot. Both PX4 Native Stack and ArduPilot, as well as MAVLink are now under DroneCode Project. NOTE: As of September 2016, ArduPilot is no longer part of DroneCode
- Works on Pixhawk, clones and Linux boards.
- Evolved out of an Arduino based FC hardware/software developed by DIYDrones (from which 3DRobotics came about).
- ArduPilot runs as an application on top of PX4 Native Stack (PX4Firmware).
- Slightly different version for different vehicle and frame types (APM:Copter, APM:Plane, APM:Rover, etc.)
- Go with Mission Planner if you are on Windows.
- Go with APM Planner 2 if you are on other platforms.
- Use Tower on tablet.
- GPLv3 License.
PX4 Native Stack
- Works on Pixhawk and clones.
- Compatibility being worked on for Linux boards.
- Mainly developed by ETH Zurich.
- It's built on top of NuttX realtime OS and runs as bunch of apps on top of the PX4 Middleware (driver layer).
- Go with QGroundControl on any platform.
- BSD License.
- The official website for the PX4 "native stack" firmware which comes pre-installed on many boards is at: http://px4.org