ArduPilot Partner CUAV new hardware

It is great to have a vibrant community of users and partners.

CUAV, a ArduPilot partner, has recently announced the newest PixHack v5.

edit: CUAV just disclosed that the v5 will be available starting July.

And ArduPilot team, lead by @Andrew_Tridgell, has already started adding support for the v5, thanks to the new system (hwdef.dat) developed to make adding new hardware easier on the ChiBios builds of ArduPilot.

The PixHack v5 has a familiar look with other boards, with some changes on the carrier board, but the greatest change is perhaps the addition of the F765 cpu. Personally the USB C plug is also a welcome bonus (how many times does one have to rotate the plug to insert it correctly :smile: ).

The developer kit, is supplied with some accessories (with a Debug/SWD cable also) and with good quality soft silicon cables, and all cables have labels, which should take care of the “guessing game”…and if you don’t have one already, a USB C cable :wink:

The usual ports are present, but with the exception of the dual power input ports on the top of the carrier board, all the other ports are distributed on the sides.

The construction is remarkably solid, and both the central unit, as the carrier board have metalic cases.

When a manufacturer sends two CAN cables, is there an indication of future news from CUAV ? :wink:

And someone at CUAV had a shinny idea by getting a different way to show the indicator LED :slight_smile: Should we name it the Cylon ?

It’s great to see the vibrant partner community coming up with new challenges for the ArduPilot team.

Thanks CUAV.

If your company wants to support ArduPilot please go


I really like the CUAV products.Well thought through and well made.This one looks like it continues the trend.The metal cases really make them stand out from the plastic crowd.

Want one. :grinning:

But why they copied the Cube? Don’t they have some innovation?

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Because the standard is for a multilevel board that can’t be flat.It has to be stacked.

A machined alloy case is an innovation in the Pixhawk world of plastic.The early adoption of the JST-GH connector was a first in the Pixhawk world I think.They were in the vanguard of interior damping for the sensors.Perhaps if you study what they produce you’ll notice a bit of innovation about.

Or you could just slag them off through ignorance I suppose.

Has there been any projected availability date to the general public for these?

Thank you for your suggestions. Please find out more about pixhack v2. Take a look at us. We are the first to apply the built-in shock absorber and JST-GH connector to the px4 flight controller. It may be due to our insufficient publicity that you have misunderstood and we are sorry.

About July!We are already in production. We will have goods in early July, but we still need to wait for the firmware update before we can go public!

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Great question Chris.I shoulda,but don’t want to come across as too needy too soon. :smiley:

Have you noticed the rather cool “Developer Edition” on the cuboid ? Nice touch I thought.A collectors edition even.Wonder if they’ll do a Test Pilot Edition for us ?

The Hack part of the name is spot on

What makes this product not a hacked ripoff of the ProfiCNC / Hex Cube hardware? Besides the USB-C port, since I think most people are pretty familiar with how to plug in a USB cable. There must be something that makes this dramatically more advanced?? I’m not seeing anything in the specifications. There must be something I’m not seeing given the fanfare??

I see it has created more work for the ArduPilot dev team who is now having to build in firmware support for this hardware. The list of open PRs is pretty long. I hope this product is more than just a cheap copy, which in reality is just a financial and resource drain on the community rather than a benefit.


Because it provides more hardware options and makes the community grow. It’s what made the PC x86 platform the standard in the early days of personal computing. A PC is a PC, right? Just a x86 processor plugged into a board and bolted into a box. But that does mean IBM has exclusive rights to manufacture it? They could’ve but it would’ve died like Sun (SPARC), Motorola (PowerPC), and a host of others over the years. Being it’s an open spec invites competition, which drives improvements and innovation, and makes it the standard by which all others are judged.


I’m not saying it isn’t allowed. I do not know a thing about legal matters and really don’t even want to.

If this product is essentially no different than the Cube hardware that it copied and relabeled, then this isn’t growing anything but the seller’s wallet. It’s making more work for the dev team, which takes away from more pressing work. And it takes away from the people who did all the hard work to design, develop, and produce the Cube in the first place. That isn’t helping or growing the community. It’s hurting it. What are all these copy-and-sell companies going to do when the real honest developers that do all the actual hard design and development just stop bothering because of this? There won’t be anyone left to build real products for them to copy and profit off of. Which means the community will have nothing at all. The entire sUAS industry will be DJI and Boeing…

Now if this product is actually more than just an inexpensive copy of the real Cube, that’s great. Which is why I asked what makes it so different and beneficial to the community?

People who are looking for serious alternative to the Cube due to form factor/size constraint goes to the pixhack v3 since it’s begining. Moreover, the tiny pixhack nano is the first small well made ‘pixhawk’ damped. I’ve seen their innovation since many years and I trust CUAV like many other users because the build quality and components is near to perfect. Looking on dedicated RC group thread or yoube unboxing/test to read about this.
Nice to see new products !


Because it IS the community. CUAV is an ArduPilot Partner company!

This brings another high-quality board to the market. Looking at the hardware specs it is not a copied and relabeled Cube. It is based on the Pixhawk project FMUv5. It simply uses the same form factor, much like you can buy two different PC’s, both in a mini-ATX form factor case, but that doesn’t mean they are the same computer.

All these are based on PX4, including the original Pixhawks. And Lorenz Meier actually owns the Pixhawk trademark. Without going into a history lesson on who copied what and forked it, the Pixhack V5 definitely raises the bar a little on the hardware end :grinning:


Interesting. However, form factor was one of the reasons I didn’t go with the Pixhawk 2.1/Cube and went with the Pixhack V3 Pro instead…and I’ve been very happy with it’s performance.


It’s sad if people can’t tell the difference between black powder coated aluminum, and plastic.

And CUAV were not the first to build a vibration isolated IMU for Ardupilot. 3DR did it with the original Pixhawk 2, first developed in 2014. Only it was not brought to market as a stand alone system, as the Cloners had already clobbered that market, 3DR stopped innovating on flight controllers and held the design until they released it in the Solo as part of a complete vehicle system. It wasn’t until another year later, that Hex/ProfiCNC were able to bring the Pixhawk2.1 to market so that we could all benefit from an internally isolated IMU that is also manufactured by a company that does proper engineering and quality control on their systems, and assists the Ardupilot software developers to drive this technology forward.

Clones do not help the community grow. They strangle the hardware developers who actually drive the technology forward, and starve the software community of resources.

I know I stopped developing on Ardupilot after 3DR had to end my contract, and that of 10 others, in large part because of cloners killed the market.


What has CUAV done for the community other than:

  1. sell hardware for a profit
  2. give $1000 to Ardupilot?

Do you have ANY idea what ProfiCNC and a few of the other hardware vendors have contributed?

Was it CUAV who helped the Ardupilot developers find a suitable replacement magnetometer when Honeywell
discontinued the HMC5983?

Can you spell out exactly which advancements CUAV have made on the hardware here? It’s a faster processor. Not that the extra speed is needed at this point, and they certainly won’t fund the development of software that will take advantage of that faster processor. They’ll wait for somebody else to do that.


There is no such thing as clones - it is open to anybody and everybody who wants to build on it. ArduPilot is not married to one hardware vendor anymore and today runs on 20+ different boards. 3DR never did own exclusive rights to Pixhawk and/are as much of a “clone” of PX4 as any of the others.

They have offered a new flight controller based on the next-gen PX4 FMUv5 spec. Looks like they beat everybody else to the punch. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy it. But a lot of people want it.

By clones, it is because all those 20boards (excepted linux one) are all the same on differents layout : same processor, same sensors, etc. So they are all clones from the original design. But some little componants changes : resistors, capacitors, etc … and that can change the quality of the board because of the change in powering, filtering, grounding, etc.

According to the spec FMUv5 isn’t next gen, nor is FMUv4pro, they, at my knowledge, don’t bring new redundancies, nor safety, etc. So raising the number means nothing…

The main point, we try to raise, IMHO, is that board is good, but won’t bring anything new ! It won’t be different from all 2nd gen board (Cube, pixhawk3, mro, cuavv3). But gives us more problems as people want support for it NOW on the basis that it is more recent with bullshit numbering and the company won’t invest time on it … so ardupilot developpers will spend their time freely to develop software support on it and the support on customer that get problem with it … I also think that is developpers fault too as they accept to support all boards freely … (I am a developper but didn’t have one).
On the problem with the design… the main issue is “hey, it is our original design, we didn’t copy”. And that obviously a lie … there are plenty way to design flight controler and this is clearly copied on the Cube, even if inside it is FMUv5 …

Just my 2 cents

I’m glad I’m not the only one seeing it this way. I’ve asked repeatedly now what about this product is an improvement over the product they clearly copied to undercut. So far, nobody has been able to answer that question with anything more than “the version number”.

So is the “v5” version number the only improvement? A numerically higher number than v3 printed on the internet? That’s it? There is nothing that actually makes it better, more advanced, safer, more capable, etc etc? I keep asking and nobody can seem to list anything.

How very mature. Your well thought out input will be sorely missed…