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 From the Command Line

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

Flashing Via Web Interface

Navigate to []( in your browser. Under the 'Pixhawk Firmware Update' section, click 'Browse' and select the firmware file (.px4) saved on your computer. Click 'Upload' and wait for the flashing process to complete.


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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