What Is PX4?
PX4 is an open source flight control software for drones and other unmanned vehicles. The project provides a flexible set of tools for drone developers to share technologies to create tailored solutions for drone applications. PX4 provides a standard to deliver drone hardware support and software stack, allowing an ecosystem to build and maintain hardware and software in a scalable way.
PX4 is part of Dronecode, a non-profit organization administered by Linux Foundation to foster the use of open source software on flying vehicles. Dronecode also hosts QGroundControl, MAVLink & the SDK.
Why Developers PX4
PX4 is highly modular and extensible both in terms of hardware and software. It utilizes a port-based architecture – which means when developers add components, the extended system does not lose robustness or performance.
PX4 is co-developed with a global development community. The flightstack is not just fulfilling the needs of one lab or one company, but has been intended as a general toolkit and is widely used and adopted in the industry.
PX4 offers optimised APIs and SDKs for developers working with integrations. All the modules are self-contained and can be easily exchanged against a different module without modifying the core. Features are easy to deploy and reconfigure.
PX4 is designed to be deeply coupled with embedded computer vision for autonomous capabilities . The framework lowers the barrier of entry for developers working on localization and obstacle detection algorithms.
Why Companies & Organizations Adopt PX4
Validated by Realworld
Thousands of commercial PX4 based systems have been deployed worldwide. In parallel, dedicated flight test team clocking up thousands of flight hours each month running hardware and software tests to ensure the codebase’s safety and reliability.
PX4 is free to use and modify under the terms of the permissive BSD 3-clause license. Which means the software also allows proprietary use and allows the releases under the license to be incorporated into proprietary products.
Beyond being a robust flight stack, PX4 offers an ecosystem of supported devices. The project also leads the standardarization effort for the advancement of communications, peripherals integration, and power management solutions.
Powerful Safety Features
Great safety features including automated failsafe behaviour, support for different return modes, parachutes etc. are by default already included in the codebase. The features are easily configurable and tunable for custom systems.