This month we are very excited to announce the release of PX4 v1.6, the latest version of the Dronecode Flight Stack (PX4 Pro). We’ve also updated the Dronecode and PX4 Websites and launched a new SDK working group.
Read on to find out more!
PX4 Release 1.6
This week PX4 v1.6 was released. This represents a huge increase in usability, functionality, and stability/robustness since our last significant delivery back in August 2016. To name just a few features, this release includes support for new hardware, new flight and survey modes, new logging, and hardening of many features.
The release is already available in QGroundControl and you can find out more about it here.
Dronecode and PX4 Website Refresh
The Dronecode website has received very welcome update to both the design and content. With this update we think you’ll find it easier to get started working with both the Dronecode project and all of our component projects. For more information see the update blog here.
In just the last week we’ve also used a similar approach to refresh and relaunch the PX4 Pro Website. All the main Dronecode websites (Dronecode, PX4 Pro and QGroundControl) are now better connected and unified through a shared theme, fonts, and footer.
Working Group Updates
SDK Working Group
The SDK WG has been started this month to investigate the definition of an official Dronecode SDK. The SDK WG will be led by Anitha Suresh from Intel.
Having reached its initial objectives the group will no longer hold regular meetings – we will still be active though! In the coming month we plan to move our discussions for all parts of the platform to a common discuss server. We’ll also investigate methods of making all our documentation more centralised/visible across documentation sets.
Messaging Working Group
The Messaging WG have evaluated middleware solutions for communication between GCS, drone, cloud, and between processes running on the vehicle. Following selection of the eProsima FastRTPS solution, the group is progressing with integration of FastRTPS into the platform. For more information see the update blog.
Safety Working Group
We are currently seeking a Dronecode system-based FAA waiver for operations beyond those permitted under the regular Part 107 rules. This application can then be the foundation of a process for certifying Dronecode-based UAVs.
The WG had a meeting with the FAA this month to refine guidance (this was very encouraging). AirMap and 3DR are driving next phase of draft application.
Code Quality WG
The Code Quality WG is focused on ways to provide incremental improvements to Dronecode project code quality and testing. This month the group expanded some of the test plans for the flight test team.
This month lots of work was done to close outstanding issues for the PX4 release. The project pulse shows we’ve merged 45 PRs (-30) and closed 227 issues (-177). More than 9000 lines were added and 4000 deleted.