Choosing Autopilot Board for Quadcopter Research

Hi guys,

I am very interested in quad/multicopters in general, and I am interested in doing some research with the sensor portion of the autopilot system. I’ve been trying to decide what autopilot board to order, but am not sure of what my best option would be. What I really want is to buy a board with the processor and all associated chipware, but none of the sensors on-board so that I can incorporate my own sensors into the system. As I see it, however, the Pixhawk is the newest/most future-proof autopilot system, and I don’t know of any of these boards without onboard sensors (they’re also pretty pricey at $200). What I would really like is something like the APM 1 board (, but I can’t seem to find out if the newest ArduPilot firmware runs on these boards.


  1. Are there autopilot boards without onboard sensors for a reasonable price, and
  2. Does the APM 1 support the latest ArduPilot firmware/is it future proof?

Thanks so much!

Hello there!

I can’t answer the first question, but as for the second, I think the answer is a solid yes :slight_smile: I have an APM1 board with me right now and I can upload the latest firmware without an itch.