What is Pixhawk 2.1 or The Cube AutoPilot ?

As Name suggest its an autopilot which mean it will pilot any vehicle by its own. Pixhawk was one of the open source autopilot. Its journey starts from year 2008, “Pixhawk” was a student project at ETH Zurich. Soon others joined this project. During this time, Ardupilot, PX4, APM Planner, MAVLink, and QGroundcontrol  (These are all software’s ) —  These are today’s most used standards for flight control hardware and autopilot software in the drone industry.

From Pixhawk 1 comes Pixhawk 2 which was first used in 3DR drone named as Solo. Solo was first Smart drone which was far better than its competitors. Pixhawk 2 was designed by Philip Rowse when he was working with 3DR. Later he modify Pixhawk 2 and it was named as Pixhawk 2.1.

Why are we called “the Cube” and not “Pixhawk”

In simple words because many other manufacturer start using name like Pixhawk 3, 4,5 which is confusing to new users which one to select.

For details you can read this post by Philip

Genuine is a Pixhawk 1 from 3DR, a Pixhawk 2 from 3DR, and The cube from ProfiCNC/Hex


Pixhawk 2.1 ( Cube ) and Carrier Boards

You can design your own carrier board as per your requirements. Hex Technology offer total 3 carrier boards these are

  1. Standard Carrier board :

  2. Mini Carrier Board :

    This is light weight PCB which has minimal out put and input pins. This can be used where user don’t have enough space to use Standard board or You might want o reduce weight of electronics then you can use this carrier board.  Mini carrier board is available on this store.

  3. The Kore Carrier board :

    The Kore is used only for multi rotors like Quadcopter, Hexacopter, Octacopter. it has in built power module which can measure upto 140A current and upto 12 cell battery. The kore has on board PDB ( Power distribution board ) which can handle current surge upto 280A. This board is best for removing unwanted wires from your Drone/UAV. The Kore is available on this store.


The Cube Features

Key Design Points

  1. Sepreate Cube with carrier board Lets users develop their own carrier boards
  2. Robust interface connectors to make it easy to plug and safer during flight
  3. Airframes VTOL, Plane , multicopter, Traditional Helicopter, Rover, Boat, Sub, General robotics.
  4. Heating System to fly under low temperature
  5. 3 Redundant IMU and up to 3 redundant GPS to make it safer
  6. Fully support Intel Edison module
  7. Standard power brick included with the full kit
  • Modular design with total Flexibility on connectivity.
  • Increased reliability and reduced integration complexity
  • It comes 100% RTK GPS ready.
  • Multiple GPS capability is standard.

The cube ( Pixhawk 2.1 ) has a total of 29 MEMS sensors in it
3 X 3-axis Accelerometers
3 X 3-axis Gyroscopes
3 X 3-axis Magnetometers
2 X Barometers

Mechanical: 30×30 mm M3 mounting hole pattern, 35×35 mm footprint
80 position DF17 connector. Carries all autopilot interface connections.
● Minimal (read: really minimal) electrical protection
● No power management
● 3.8 to 5.7V operation (absolute maximum ratings)
● 4.0 to 5.5V operation (compliant rating)

Pixhawk 2IO

Total connectivity

● I2C2
● 2x CAN: CAN1 and CAN2
● 4x UART: TELEM1, TELEM2, GPS (I2C 1 embedded), SERIAL4(I2C 2 embedded)
● 1x Console: CONSOLE (SERIAL5)
● 1x HMI: USB extender

Ports and Pins on Carrier Board

5 Serial Ports
2 CAN ports
2 I2C ports
2 Power ports
1 ADC port
8 dedicated opto capable PWM out
6 GPIO that can also be used for PWM
Dedicated Spektrum RX port
S.Bus in and out, PPM in

In Box Content

  • Cube * 1
  • Carrier Board * 1
  • POWER Brick Mini * 1
  • SD Card(inserted in Cube) * 1
  • TELEM Cable * 2
  • POWER Cable * 1
  • I2C Cable * 1
  • BUZZER Cable * 1
  • MICRO USB Cable * 1
  • GPS1 Cable(with saftey switch) * 1
  • GPS2 Cable * 1
  • I2C Splitter * 1
  • Mounting Screws(M2.5*8) * 4
  • 3M Double Sided Foam Tapes

To take full advantage of the Pixhawk 2.1, Please add the new GPS with built in Safety switch.


with Here2, without Here2


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