Pixhawk vs APM 2.6 for a ROVER

Hi everyone,
I fly RC helis and airplanes and would now to try a Rover with Autopilot.

My intention is to learn about the Autopilot and GPS on terra firma before risking one of my aircraft.
So with that in mind, what are the pros and cons of choosing either:
or APM 2.6 as my Autopilot module

Note: all my RC gear/radio is Spektrum & I realize the Pixhawk will need some sort of signal conversion.

Jim Calvert

The biggest pros for the Pixhawk and the biggest negatives for the APM is that the Pixhawk can run the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) while the APM cannot and the Pixhawk can support dual compasses and GPSs while the APM cannot.
The EKF makes for much smoother right/left turns without post turn overshoot and the dual GPSs provide navigation redundancy.
I speak from experience since I am a ArduRover2 Developer with two Traxxas 4WD Slash Rovers equipped with Pixhawks and dual GPSs.


Thanks so much for your quick response.
I just found the pictures and description of your 6WD Wild Thumper.
That is a very nice setup :smiley: and I figure that building one would be a great Winter project.

I need to understand the motor controllers, (ie Sabertooth 2X25 ). It seems you used two of them, one for each side. I have searched for a 6 motor wiring diagram with no luck. Might you have one somewhere?

I am thinking I would need 3 of the Sabertooth 2x25’s; one for each motor pair but probably wrong about that.


The Sabertooth motor controller http://www.dimensionengineering.com/products/sabertooth2x25 is just two dual Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) that can be used in a mixing mode with throttle and steering input from the navigation controller or as two separate ESCs for differential (skid) steering.
The three motors on each side of the Thumper are wired in parallel and each set of three motors is controlled by one of the two individual ESCs. The three motors on each side can be treated as just one motor, since they are wired in parallel, that is controlled by an individual ESC.

Another plus of the pixhawk is it has a spectrum satellite port so no converter needed