How to Get the Code

ArduSub is hosted and maintained on github. You can clone the repository or download the source code as a zip file from github.

git clone


To compile the ArduSub branch, first cd ArduSub to enter the directory and then use a command with the following format:

make [board type]

For example, to build for the Pixhawk 1:

make px4-v2

The available board types can be seen by entering make with no arguments.

Uploading Locally

To upload the code to a PixHawk or similar controller, add -upload to the build command. For example:

make px4-v2-upload

This only works with a direct USB connection to the Pixhawk.

Uploading Remotely

With an Ethernet tether and companion computer, it is possible to flash the Pixhawk firmware through the companion computer - no need to directly access the Pixhawk.

Flashing With a .px4 File

ssh pi@ "/home/pi/companion/RPI2/Raspbian/ --stdin" < ArduSub-v2.px4


The code begins running immediately once uploaded. For Linux-based autopilots, it must be launched or started with launch script. Please see the documentation for your respective autopilot.

Making a Custom Configuration

One of the biggest additions to the ArduSub code is a six degree-of-freedom motor library that allows a wide variety of motor configurations to be set up easily. The motors libraries for each configuration are built on a set of higher-level motor classes as follows:

    |---- AP_MotorsMulticopter
                   |---- AP_MotorsMatrix
                                |---- AP_Motors6DOF

To add a new motor configuration, you will need to add your custom motor setup to AP_Motors6DOF.cpp. Find the following line, and add your frame configuration there. The frame is configured at boot according to the FRAME_CONFIG parameter. You will need to change this parameter to CUSTOM to use your custom frame.

    // Put your custom motor setup here

The behavior of each motor will be defined by its assigned contributions to each of the 6 degrees of freedom in AP_Motors6DOF.cpp. You can use the other frame configurations as a reference guide to defining your own custom configuration. Here is the BlueROV1 frame configuration as an example:

Motor # Roll Factor Pitch Factor Yaw Factor Throttle Factor Forward Factor Lateral Factor
1 0 0 -1.0 0 1.0 0
2 0 0 1.0 0 1.0 0
3 -0.5 0.5 0 0.45 0 0
4 0.5 0.5 0 0.45 0 0
5 0 -1.0 0 1.0 0 0
6 -0.25 0 0 0 0 1.0

Sponsored by Blue Robotics. Code released under the GPLv3 License. Documentation released under the CC-NC-SA 4.0.
Submit a Documentation GitHub Issue here to report any errors, suggestions, or missing information in this documentation.
Submit an ArduSub GitHub Issue here to report issues with the ArduSub software.

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