3DR IRIS available for preorder

November 26, 2013 10:31 | By | Add a Comment

The 3D Robotics IRIS drone is now available for preorder. It’s meant to be used as a serious drone for civilian users, offering complete waypoint flightplans via PC or smartphone/tablet. Unlike DJI, their products are often open-hardware and open-source, which explains why 3D Robotics chose not to gimp their flight controllers or restrict them to a small number of waypoints.

Indeed, the IRIS uses the new Pixhawk autopilot system while retaining compatibility with the ArduPilot Mission Planner (APM).

The IRIS is one of the cheapest available professional drones with full waypoint support at a preorder price of just over USD $729.- , depending on selected options. This includes integrated 433MHz or 915MHz telemetry.

The Pixhawk flight controller is sure to be a hot topic in 2014 as it’s poised to replace the aging Ardupilot 2.x controller. The Pixhawk itself can be preordered for USD $200.-

More pictures and technical data after the break.


IRIS is an all-in-one autonomous aerial vehicle with a compact and durable design. Stylish and powerful, IRIS runs on the innovative Pixhawk autopilot system–the newest in advanced autopilot electronics from the PX4 open-hardware project. With wide-angled arms and a GoPro-compatible camera mount, IRIS is perfect for any aerial imaging application. Add a GoPro Hero 3 to capture breathtaking aerial video.

IRIS features the complete set of APM:Copter autonomous capabilities, including automatic takeoff and landing, custom mission planning with GPS waypoint navigation, stabilized loitering, return to launch, circling mode and more. Combine Pixhawk’s high availability hardware model with APM:Copter’s robust failsafe options for superior reliability in the air.

For a great out-of-box experience, we highly recommend you select the transmitter option.

Iris includes:

  • Fully-assembled Iris UAV
  • Lithium polymer power pack, balance charger, and safety bag
  • Micro USB ground station connector cable
  • Android tablet USB adapter
  • Radio telemetry ground module in 915 or 433 Mhz
  • Interchangeable red front legs for improved visibility in the air
  • Tool kit and operation manual


  • Multiple control options provide redundancy and flexibility: RC, computer, phone,and tablet
  • Built-in data radio for real-time mission monitoring, data-logging, and control
  • Powerful cross-platform ground station/mission planning and analysis software that runs on Windows, OS X and Linux, providing simple point-and-click programming and configuration
  • Mobile apps allow intuitive “draw a path” mission planning
  • Easy mounting system integrated in the arms provides painless mounting for future accessories (stay tuned!)
  • Camera options include a live video link with programmable on-screen-display, and will soon support a fully integrated stabilized camera gimbal with autopilot control
  • GoPro® compatible camera mount
  • Available with a 9-channel RC transmitter pre-programmed for the most popular flight modes.
  • Pre-programmed GPS waypoints allow for professional-grade mission capabilities, such as: mapping, scripted cinematography, scientific research, and other applications where repeatable flight plans are required
  • Robust arms and feet produced from Zytel Nylon® for the ultimate in wear, abrasion and impact resistance over a wide temperature range. They are easily and inexpensively replaced if required
  • Auto takeoff and landing along with return-to-launchpoint command at the press of a button or under programmable failsafe conditions
  • Follow-me function for the ultimate “selfies”. In this mode, Iris will follow (at an adjustable distance) any ground station device equipped with a GPS antenna and one of our 3DR telemetry/control radios
  • Geo Fencing provides a virtual box to keep your drone within a user-selectable space
  • Failsafe programming options bring peace of mind in the event of lost control signal, GPS or low battery conditions
  • External micro-USB port
  • Multicolor LED status indicator
  • Buzzer for audible status and warning messages
  • Safety switch adds a second level of protection against inadvertent start-ups
  • Open source flight code, ground station software, and electronics are all freely distributed under standard open source licenses. This means that Iris’ capabilities are always improving and expanding with a simple firmware update!


  • Motor to motor dimension: 550mm
  • Height: 100mm
  • Weight (with battery): 1282 grams
  • Average flight time: 10-15 minutes
  • 425 g (.9 lb) payload capacity
  • Battery: 3-cell 11.1 V 3.5 Ah lithium polymer with XT-60 type connector. Weight: 262 grams
  • Propellers: (2) 10 x 4.7 normal-rotation, (2) 10 x 4.7 reverse-rotation
  • Motors: AC 2830, 850 kV
  • Telemetry/Control radios available in 915mHz or 433mHz
  • Next generation 32-bit Pixhawk autopilot system with Cortex M4 processor
  • uBlox GPS with integrated magnetometer

Select from the options below to personalize your 3DR Ready-to-Fly IRIS!

Transmitter: Iris requires a PPM-compatible radio control system to be used as either primary or backup control. Select FlySky with FrSky DJT, and we will connect and configure it for you! If you select to receive no RC system with Iris, we will provide you with a PPM encoder to connect your own receiver. We highly recommend selecting a pre-configured FlySky transmitter with Iris.

Telemetry: Telemetry radios allow your ground station computer to communicate with your aircraft wirelessly, providing unparalleled ease of use for viewing real-time flight data, changing missions on the fly, tuning, and using a Android tablet as a ground station. Select 915 Mhz for the US and 433 Mhz for Europe. Frequency regulations vary by country, so consult your local airspace communication authority if you’re uncertain which frequency is legal in your area.

Extra Battery Pack: IRIS includes one rechargeable lithium polymer battery (3 cell 3500 mAh 11.1 V), a LiPo balance charger, and a LiPo bag for safely charging and transporting the battery, giving you up to 15 minutes of flight time. Select this option to receive an extra battery with IRIS and extend your flight time!

GoPro: Iris features a GoPro-compatible camera mount for capturing unique aerial videos with everyone’s favorite portable HD camera. Select this option to receive a Go-Pro Hero 3 with IRIS!

Extra Propellers, Arms, and Legs: Don’t be caught off guard by the unexpected! Select spare propellers, arms, and legs for IRIS, and get back in the air fast. Propellers come in packs of four; arms and legs come in packs of two by color. Iris includes two spare red legs.

Documentation: Visit the APM:Copter documentation project for complete instructions, tutorials, troubleshooting, and more.




Pixhawk is an advanced autopilot system designed by the PX4 open-hardware project and manufactured by 3D Robotics. It features advanced processor and sensor technology from ST Microelectronics® and a NuttX real-time operating system, delivering incredible performance, flexibility, and reliability for controlling any autonomous vehicle.

The benefits of the Pixhawk system include integrated multithreading, a Unix/Linux-like programming environment, completely new autopilot functions such as Lua scripting of missions and flight behavior, and a custom PX4 driver layer ensuring tight timing across all processes. These advanced capabilities ensure that there are no limitations to your autonomous vehicle. Pixhawk allows existing APM and PX4 operators to seamlessly transition to this system and lowers the barriers to entry for new users to participate in the exciting world of autonomous vehicles.

The flagship Pixhawk module will be accompanied by new peripheral options, including a digital airspeed sensor, support for an external multi-color LED indicator and an external magnetometer. All peripherals are automatically detected and configured.

Pixhawk orders are expected to begin shipping in late-November 2013.

Pixhawk includes

  • Pixhawk autopilot
  • Buzzer
  • Safety switch button
  • 3DR power module with XT60 connectors and 6-position connector cable
  • Extra 6-position cable to connect a 3DR GPS+Compass module
  • Micro USB cable
  • SD card and USB adapter
  • Mounting foam


  • Advanced 32 bit ARM Cortex® M4 Processor running NuttX RTOS
  • 14 PWM/servo outputs (8 with failsafe and manual override, 6 auxiliary, high-power compatible)
  • Abundant connectivity options for additional peripherals (UART, I2C, CAN)
  • Integrated backup system for in-flight recovery and manual override with dedicated processor and stand-alone power supply
  • Backup system integrates mixing, providing consistent autopilot and manual override mixing modes
  • Redundant power supply inputs and automatic failover
  • External safety button for easy motor activation
  • Multicolor LED indicator
  • High-power, multi-tone piezo audio indicator
  • microSD card for long-time high-rate logging



  • 32-bit STM32F427 Cortex M4 core with FPU
  • 168 MHz/256 KB RAM/2 MB Flash
  • 32 bit STM32F103 failsafe co-processor


  • ST Micro L3GD20 16-bit gyroscope
  • ST Micro LSM303D 14-bit accelerometer / magnetometer
  • MEAS MS5611 barometer


  • 5x UART (serial ports), one high-power capable, 2x with HW flow control
  • 2x CAN
  • Spektrum DSM / DSM2 / DSM-X® Satellite compatible input
  • Futaba S.BUS® compatible input and output
  • PPM sum signal
  • RSSI (PWM or voltage) input
  • I2
  • SPI
  • 3.3 and 6.6V ADC inputs
  • External microUSB port

Power System:

  • Ideal diode controller with automatic failover
  • Servo rail high-power (7 V) and high-current ready
  • All peripheral outputs over-current protected, all inputs ESD protected

Weight and Dimensions:

  • Weight: 38g (1.31oz)
  • Width: 50mm (1.96″)
  • Thickness: 15.5mm (.613″)
  • Length: 81.5mm (3.21″)


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