The project will bring together existing open-source drone projects and assets under a nonprofit structure governed by The Linux Foundation. The result will be a common, shared, open-source platform for UAVs.
Founding members include 3D Robotics, Baidu, Box, DroneDeploy, Intel, jDrones, Laser Navigation, Qualcomm, SkyWard, Squadrone System, Walkera and Yuneec.
‘The Linux Foundation is well recognized for its ability to rally support and advance the work of important open-source projects,’ says Chris Anderson, CEO and founder of 3D Robotics. ‘The Dronecode Project will benefit from this expertise and bring to bear important resources for developers working on drone technology.’
Dronecode includes the APM/ArduPilot UAV software platform and associated code, which until now has been hosted by 3D Robotics, a provider of advanced UAV autopilot and autonomous vehicle control. The Dronecode project will also incorporate the partner PX4 project, led by Lorenz Meier from ETH, the Technical University of Zurich.
More than 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode, with more than 150 code commits a day on some projects. Examples of projects include APM/ArduPilot, Mission Planner, MAVLink and DroidPlanner.
‘Open-source software and collaborative development are advancing technologies in the hottest, most cutting-edge areas. The Dronecode Project is a perfect example of this,’ says Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. ‘By becoming a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, the Dronecode community will receive the support required of a massive project right at its moment of breakthrough. The result will be even greater innovation and a common platform for drone and robotics open source projects.’
The Dronecode Project will help meet the needs of the growing community with a neutral governance structure and coordination of funding for resources and tools. The governance structure will allow other parties and developers to influence and participate in the development and direction of the software.
‘Software is what makes drones intelligent. We want to contribute to that intelligence and the advancement of drone technologies, and the Dronecode Project gives us that opportunity,’ says Tian Yu, president and founder of Yuneec.