3D Robotics (3DR) has announced the availability of Tower, an open-source flight control app for 3DR-powered aircraft.
Downloadable at no cost from the 3DR website, Tower offers users the ability to build new features into the app or customize existing ones.
The app is suited for first-time pilots as well as experts, the company says. Available under the GNU Public License v3, Tower provides transmitter-free operation of 3DR-powered copters and planes from any Android-powered smartphone or tablet. Tower is accessible through the new 3DR Services, the app store for drones.
Tower is fully supported and maintained by 3D Robotics, creator of the app. Although 3DR is the major contributor to the product, it encourages drone users to use their programming creativity in order to further the power, usability and fun inherent in drones.
‘3D Robotics is a big believer in imaginative uses of drones for business and pleasure, as well as in ways that benefit society. By opening up our Tower programming interface to the public, we're giving enthusiasts and entrepreneurs the ability to impact those uses in a very positive manner,’ says Colin Guinn, chief revenue officer of 3DR. ‘We're excited to see how people use their talents to improve and innovate on Tower.’
With Tower, users can create flights by drawing the paths on their tablet or by dropping waypoints. Over 10 different types of waypoints, as well as other functions, make it possible to plan a flight for a specific purpose.
Several new features are also available for Tower, including Mission Editor, for easier insertion or reordering of elements, and new integration with Droneshare via the user's Google or Facebook account (available Feb. 15), enabling users to track and share their flights online or compare pilot rankings with friends.