SITL

The SITL (Software In The Loop) simulator allows you to run APM without any hardware. It is a build of the autopilot code using an ordinary C++ compiler and giving you a native executable that allows you to test the behaviour of the code without hardware.

IMG

Refer to the APM wiki for installation instructions.

sim_vehicle.sh -w

Install just the command line tools for OSX including GCC then get modules installed to Python:

sudo easy_install pip
sudo pip install pexpect
sudo pip install pyserial

Install MAVLink and MAVProxy:

sudo pip install pymavlink MAVProxy

(or) install MAVLink and MAVProxy from source

git clone https://github.com/tridge/MAVProxy
git clone https://github.com/tridge/mavlink

run this setup command in both directories

sudo python setup.py build install

Get the APM branch that compiles in Mac OS (this commit is relevant):

git clone https://github.com/erlerobot/ardupilot
cd ardupilot
git checkout macos
cd ArduCopter
make configure
make sitl

Source: drones-discuss