Updated: May 11, 2021
The CubePilot line of flight controllers for unmanned systems is manufactured by Hex Technologies and uses color to differentiate between various options. This post is intended to help ASW customers (and the community) determine which is best for their needs. All Cube models use a common footprint and connector to mate with a carrier board. Carrier boards come in various form factors and allow the user to adapt the Cube to operate their specific vehicle. Now, let’s take a closer look at the Cubes.
Replacing the Cube Black as the new flagship in the ecosystem, the Cube Orange autopilot is the most powerful model in the lineup of Pixhawk-lineage flight controllers. The Cube boasts triple redundant, temperature-controlled, and shock-absorbing IMUs and is designed for integrators, vehicle manufacturers, and hobbyists alike. The powerful, next-generation H7 processor offers better performance, faster processing, and more built-in security. The Cube Orange comes as a standalone module or in a kit featuring the latest carrier board which now includes integrated ADS-B Input capabilities from uAvionics.
The Cube Blue H7 is identical to the Cube Orange in features and functionality but is manufactured in the United States for compliance-sensitive customers.
(Discontinued) The Cube that started it all! The original Black Cube was designed for commercial systems and hobbyists looking to fully integrate autopilot capabilities into their systems. Enhanced drop and shock resistance, redundant IMUs with heating, and the modular carrier board compatibility made the original Cube the most popular autopilot system in the world. Capable of integration in robotics, traditional planes, multirotors, traditional helicopters, rovers, boats, submarines, and more.
(Discontinued) The original Cube Blue was manufactured in the United States with the same specifications as the Cube Black. This edition was intended for compliance-sensitive customers. Please see the Cube Blue H7 for the most recent US manufactured alternative.
At only 1 cm in height, the Cube Purple autopilot is designed for space constrained applications. To meet these demands, the Cube Purple forgoes redundant IMUs but is otherwise identical to the Cube Black main module. Additionally, the Cube Purple may be fitted to a mini carrier board to further reduce size and weight requirements. In 2021, lookout for the Cube Purple H7 to replace the Cube Purple and match the computing power of the Cube Orange!
Sitting directly between the Black and Orange, the Cube Yellow offers better performance and newer sensors over the original Cube Black while retaining F series SOC compatibility.
This limited, promotional edition of the Cube is identical in features and functionality to the Cube Orange but features a little extra bling! This will be distributed on a very limited basis.
(Discontinued) The Cube Green is specific to the 3DR Solo. This variant is identical to the original Cube Black apart from resolving signaling voltages that allow for installation in the Solo.
(Not yet released) The Cube Red is a planned future release with no official market date yet announced by Hex. Speculations include accommodations for users with high data rate requirements and possible increases in environmental protections.
(End of Life) The Cube Black+ is a variant of the original Cube Black featuring the same processor as the Cube Black but with upgraded IMUs for more precise measurements. This variant is intended primarily for research efforts with specific instrumentation requirements. For most customers, the Cube Orange is recommended.
A table detailing specific, technical differences between variants can be found here, at the official CubePilot online manual.