Skip to content


Drone APIs let you write code to control and integrate with PX4-powered vehicles, without having to understand intimate details of the vehicle and flight stack, or having to think about safety-critical behaviour.

PX4는 MAVSDKROS를 포함하는 로봇 공학 API와 함께 사용할 수 있습니다. Drone APIs allow you to do this using high level instructions in your programming language of choice, and the code can then run on-vehicle in a companion computer or from a ground station. Under the the hood the APIs communicate with PX4 using MAVLink or uXRCE-DDS.

PX4 supports the following SDKs/Robotics tools:

What API should I use?

We recommend using MAVSDK where possible, primarily because it is far more intuitive and easier to learn. It can also run on more operating systems and less performant-hardware.

You may prefer ROS if you already know how to use it, or if you want to leverage pre-existing integrations (for example computer vision tasks). More generally, ROS is likely to be a better choice for tasks that require very low latency or a deeper integration with PX4 than is provided by MAVLink.

The main difference are:

    • Intuitive and optimised for drones, with a small learning curve and easy setup.
    • You can write apps in C++, Python, Swift, Java, Go, and more.
    • Runs on resource-constrained hardware
    • Runs on broad range of OSs, including Android, Linux, Windows.
    • Communicates over MAVLink.
      • Stable and widely supported.
      • Limited to MAVLink services - needed information may not be exposed.
      • Latency may be too high for some use cases.
  • ROS:
    • General-purpose robotics API that has been extended to support drone integration:
      • Conceptually not as well optimised for drones
      • Significant learning curve
    • Many pre-existing libraries: useful for code-reuse.
    • Supports C++ and Python libraries
    • Runs on Linux
    • ROS 2 is the latest version, which connects via DDS.
      • DDS interface layer allows deep integration into any aspect of PX4 that is exposed as a UORB topic (almost everything).
      • Can provide much lower latency.
      • Still under development. At time of writing requires a deeper understanding of PX4 than ROS 1
    • ROS 1 is the older version that can connect over MAVLink or via ROS 2. Users are encouraged to update to ROS 2 for new projects.