Question about Pixhawk 4 Processing Limitations

Hey everyone, first post here but that is after many months of reading.

Over the last few years the company I work for has been wanting to get away from the DJI ecosystem and start to assemble our own drone for industrial applications. With the most recent political issues between the US and China and the bans actually starting to go into affect I have been given the green light to start to order parts and electronics to create a v0.1 test drone so we can start down the long road of R&D.

Upon looking into all the optional hardware that can be added I constantly see everything is being ported through some of the same connectors on the Pixhawk 4 board. I understand with the I2C bus I will need to set each device with a unique address and use a splitter but what about processing power and reaching a limit for things to operate correctly? At what point do I need to start to worry about there not being enough CPU power and need to start to look into a companion computer to assist in things? Below if a list of the current items we will be needing

Camera trigger
Dual GPS
Telemetry Radio
IR-Lock precision landing sensor
PX4FLOW camera
FPV camera
Retractable landing gears

I’m definitely a noob when it comes to drones so please excuse me if this is a basic question.


My primary DJI experience is with M210RTK but I’ve used phantom, mavic too. I suspect that you’re going to love the ardupilot ecosystem - I do! We use our DJI stuff occasionally but my workhorses are all pixhawk craft. Anyways, to your question

No need worry about processing limitations. Go for it! That said, you’re going to want a companion computer setup eventually…

Yeah, we love the DJI ecosystem because it just works and is easy to teach new employees how to fly. Also the fact that so many apps work with DJI is a plus. BUT…with that being said we have talked about not having all our eggs in one basket for a while and wanted to make sure we were able to adjust if the time came. Additionally we want better obstacle avoidance, more precise landings since we are working in some unique areas and most importantly the ability to adapt cameras and upgrade/repair our own units.

I might pull the trigger on everything but the companion computer and just start to learn the Pixhawk ecosystem. Rumors are the new Nvidia Jetsons boards are around the corner so once that arrives we can pull the trigger on it

for work ardupilot (and pixhawk or another hardware) is the way to go.
dji is not professional and reliable. the software restrictions are horrible, also most companys with confidential producs would not allow a dji drone to fly doe to the telemetry (maybe that’s just an European problem).

i personally like to make the machines as simple as possible. More sensors -> more possible problems.
Processing power is not an issue, and an aditional computer you can do ROS magic which is very nice… :wink: