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For your Pixhawk drone, it can either be setup to run Ardupilot software, or PX4 software depending on what you wish to use the drone for. Both software are open source and have extensive support online.
UAV Systems is proudly an official partner of Ardupilot, one of the largest open source drone software platforms. All of our drones come automatically installed with Ardupilot unless the customer requests PX4 instead.
The Ardupilot stack is very advanced compared to PX4 since it is one of the oldest drone software, and there is extensive online support available via forums for Ardupilot support. One potential drawback for businesses or research institutions looking to use Ardupilot is the open source licence it uses is GPL which means that any changes added to the codebase need to be added back to the parent Ardupilot project.
UAV Systems is not a partner of PX4, however we can still configure any of our drones with PX4 upon request. PX4 is part of Dronecode which is run by the Linux foundation. PX4 supplies users with the whole operating system allowing the end user to develop on top of the PX4 system.
Unlike Ardupilot, PX4 operates with the BSD licence which means any new features or development you do to PX4 do not need to be sent back to the PX4 main project, giving more ownership over IP to the end user.
While the drone uses either Ardupilot, or PX4, the computer or ground station that you choose to use must also have its own software. This software on your computer allows you to connect your drone to any computer to view and configure Pixhawk drone settings, plan flights, view flight logs, etc. There are a wide variety of computer software available for Pixhawk, however the vast majority are for niche applications while Mission Planner, UGCS, and Q Ground Control are the three main software for most use cases.
Mission Planner is a free, open source software compatible only with Windows. It is the software we at UAV Systems use as our preferred ground station software due to the availability of some extra features that Q Ground Control does not yet have. The Mission Planner software is limited to drones that run Ardupilot.
For more information on Mission Planner or to download the free software, please visit www.ardupilot.org/planner.
Q Ground Control is a free, open source software however unlike Mission Planner, Q Ground Control can operate on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It can also support drones that operate on both Ardupilot and PX4 compared to Mission Planner which can only support Ardupilot. This gives it much greater flexibility than Mission Planner, however its functionality is slightly more limited.
For more information on Q Ground Control, or to download the free software, please visit www.qgroundcontrol.com
UGCS offers the widest range of features, however compared to Mission Planner and Q Ground Control it is not free and has a monthly fee. It can support drones from DJI to Yuneec, along with drones running both Ardupilot and PX4. It has software available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. UGCS offers a 3D map interface, image geotagging, operation of multiple drones simultaneously, 3D mission planning and much more.
For more information on Q Ground Control, or to download the software, please visit www.ugcs.com
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When the Government of Sierra Leone was looking to establish the first drone port in West Africa and needed a fleet of drones to operate there, they turned to us and our Pixhawk drone offerings. Thanks to the open source nature of Pixhawk, our Tarot X6 drones for the Government of Sierra Leone were extensively customized to meet their needs and integrate with their drone port infrastructure on the ground, allowing West Africa's first medical drone deliveries to take flight!Read More
Our Aurelia X6 Pro with Pixhawk Cube Orange flight controller getting ready to carry a sensing device in northern Canada.
President Bio of Sierra Leone inspecting our Tarot X6 V2.1 with Pixhawk X2.1 flight controller and Herelink Ground Station at the opening of West Africa's first drone port in Sierra Leone.
Our Tarot T-18 V2.1 with Pixhawk X2.1 flight controller getting ready to do a survey of a volcano in El Salvador.
Our Tarot X6 V1.0 with Pixhawk X2.1 flight controller and a custom companion computer mounting for the University of California.
Our Tarot X6 V2.0 with Pixhawk Cube Blue flight controller and a custom electronics mounting panel for a U.S defence contractor.
Our Tarot 650 V2.0 with Pixhawk X2.1 flight controller and a Canadian Forces Boeing C-177 Globemaster in the background.
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All of our drones come with a 6 month warranty that can be extended up to 2 additional years
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