QGroundControl is an operator control unit / ground control software for micro air vehicles. It allows to visualize and control a micro air vehicle during development and operation, both indoors and outdoors. With a flexible software architecture it supports multiple MAV types/autopilot projects. QGroundControl was mainly developed by Lorenz Meier at ETH Zurich as the Ground Control Station software for the PIXHAWK Project. By now it evolved into an open-source application used at multiple universities worldwide and with many active contributors.

QGroundcontrol Overview


The QGroundControl Open Source Operator Control Unit is the only interface to an autonomous operating robot. Even when not operating autonomously, e.g. during system tests, just a joystick or the remote control is not enough as measurement values have to be available in real-time and configuration settings have to be changed.


QGroundControl is a feature-rich applicaton with customizable views, each containing a collection of the most useful interface components for a particular purpose.

  • Multi-MAV support
  • Multi-system support (multiple procotols, multiple autopilots/projects)
  • 2D moving map (Google Satellite/Maps, OpenStreetMap, Yahoo Satellite/Maps)
  • Mission planning (waypoints, system status)
  • Controller tuning and calibration
  • Support for rotary and fixed-wing (Airplanes, helicopters, coaxial and quadrotor designs)
  • Joystick control
  • Voice/Audio output tested on Linux, Mac


  • Cross-platform: Windows, Linux, MacOs, Maemo
  • Open Source (GPLv3+)
  • C++, Qt 4.7 based
  • Look and Feel completely customizable (CSS-stylesheets)

Supported Hardware

  • Any PC/Mac