Open Source Dronecode Project Attracts New Investment and Members
Drone Software Platform Evolving Quickly, Driving Cutting-Edge Advancements in Vision Processing and Obstacle Avoidance
San Francisco, June 29, 2015 – Dronecode, the nonprofit organization developing a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), today announced six new commercial members and several nonprofit and academic drone projects that are supporting the effort.
New silver members announced today include Arsov RC Technology, Erle Robotics, Event 38 Unmanned Systems, Parrot, Team Black Sheep and Walkera.
New sponsor members include OpenRelief, Open Source Robotics Foundation, The Autonomous Systems, Control, and Optimization Laboratory (ASCO) at Johns Hopkins, Team Tiltrotor and Uplift Aeronautics.
Formed in late 2014, Dronecode brings together existing open source drone projects and assets under one umbrella organization governed by The Linux Foundation. It currently coordinates and prioritizes funding for six initiatives, 28 Dronecode members and more than 1,200 developers who are collaborating on a de facto standard platform for consumer and commercial drone/robotics open projects.
Dronecode’s significant influx of financial and technical support is driving rapid, diverse UAV progress in areas like vision processing, obstacle avoidance, and environmental and situational awareness. While still a nascent market, industry experts estimate that the commercial drone market will reach $1.27 billion by 2020. Backing for Dronecode is taking off as many begin pursuing drones for humanitarian aid, ecological, agriculture, logistics and parcel delivery purposes.
“We’re thrilled to welcome today’s new members and sponsors so soon after forming Dronecode as a neutral, transparent initiative for advancing UVA technology,” said Amanda McPherson, Chief Marketing Officer at The Linux Foundation. “Their participation affirms the collaborative development model, enabling more parties to provide resources and support to the already vibrant drone community. From improving wildlife protection and search and rescue, to 3-D mapping and precision farming, drones can change our world for both goodwill and economic gains.”
More about today’s new silver members:
Arsov RC Technology: designs and manufactures PX4 compatible flight controllers and other electronic accessories used in UAV vehicles.
Erle Robotics: focuses on making Linux-based artificial brains for robots and drones. They also design, construct and deliver different robots based in Linux.
“We are delighted to join the Dronecode Foundation and collaborate pushing forward the next generation of robots and drones. Linux-based, low-cost and affordable robots, together with the creativity and passion of thousands of developers, will lead the next technological revolution,” said Víctor Mayoral Vilches, CTO of Erle Robotics.
Event 38 Unmanned Systems: provides high endurance UAVs, optical sensors and its cloud based Drone Data Management SystemTM designed specifically for aerial photogrammetry and map making. Its UAVs feature easy-to-use autonomous operation, extended flight times, and large payloads for the agriculture and surveying markets around the world.
“We are excited to officially join the Dronecode Foundation and look forward to helping shape the future of open source drone technologies,” said Jeff Taylor, Founder, Event 38 Unmanned Systems Inc.
Parrot: Headquartered in Paris, Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company innovates and develops in the civil drones market with leisure quadcopters and solutions for professional use. Parrot continues to expand in the commercial drone market, building out its expertise and focus on three target markets:
- Geographic information systems (GIS) for the environment, mining / quarrying and city planning sectors,
- Surveillance of sensitive areas (warehouses, industrial sites, hypermarkets), protected locations (natural environments) or accident sites (disasters),
- Precision farming, made possible by the combination of drones, sensors and algorithms for conversion into agricultural recommendations.
“The market for consumer-friendly drones is skyrocketing,” said Henri Seydoux, Founder and CEO of Parrot. “Consumers have a strong appetite for UAV novelty; drones that don’t just only fly, but also do amazing videos, jump, skim the ocean and maneuver at night with headlights. Linux and open source are leading the way, and we’re excited to collaborate with other drone companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations to advance the technology even further.”
Team Black Sheep: was founded out of passion for “First Person View” aerial videos broadcasting live from above. Known for trilling YouTube videos shot all over the world, the company sells FPV aircrafts and accessories.
“Consumer drones have fundamentally changed the way we shoot videos and see the earth from above,” said Raphael Pirker, Pilot at TBS Avionics. “We are happy to recognize that open source software has spearheaded the technology and our industry. At TBS, we want to be a part of this development and help shape the way that people use drones in the near future.”
Walkera: a professional aero-model manufacturer based in China with offices in the United States that unifies UAV product research and development, production, marketing, and services. The company also recently introduced the DroneCode APM copter, the QR x350 Premium, the first model of the iUAS 2015 series.
“We believe Dronecode Project is off to a strong start managing, guiding and aligning resources to best advance the drone revolution,” said Lucy Chen, President at Walkera. “It’s providing a clear path for corporate and open source collaboration and innovation, and we’re excited to share our drone expertise with this growing initiative.”
More about today’s new sponsored members:
OpenRelief: provides open, crowd-sourced information solutions for disaster relief, enabling the right aid gets to the right places when needed. OpenRelief uses an open source approach that ensures everyone, anywhere, can access its technology.
Open Source Robotics Foundation: is a nonprofit organization that supports the development, distribution and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education and product development.
“By working with Dronecode, we’ll be able to make our tools even more useful for UAV projects,” said Tully Foote, ROS Platform Manager at OSRF. “With demand for ROS and Gazebo in UAV development on the rise, Dronecode and OSRF are natural partners. The alliance will organically stimulate greater sharing of knowledge, tools and capabilities between the general robotics and aerial robotics communities.”
Team Tiltrotor: is an Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) initiative from aerospace engineers Trevor Strand and Mike Remaly to develop APM-powered tiltrotors. Tiltrotors combine the qualities of vertical lift for low speed vertical landings and forward thrust for high speed, long range airplane flight.
“As today’s small, affordable drones progress from toys to tools, the tiltrotor will fill roles that traditional fixed wing and multirotor cannot,” said Team Tiltrotor.
The Autonomous Systems, Control, and Optimization Laboratory (ASCO) at Johns Hopkins: is part of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) and is focused on creating robots with unprecedented agility and robustness that can fully exploit their dynamical and sensing abilities to operate in natural environments.
“Robotics is an exciting, fast-growing industry that greatly benefits from working with other engineers, developers and commercial parties to help advance the design and usefulness of such systems as quickly as possible,” said Marin Kobilarov, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. “With so much UAV innovation happening in all corners of the world, Dronecode plays an important role transforming research and ideas into real-world applications.”
Uplift Aeronautics: is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to empower and aid communities through innovative aviation technology. Uplift is run entirely by volunteers who are passionate about helping communities develop sustainable aviation solutions that help address social problems. They have a special interest in reaching inaccessible or hard-to-access populations.
“Uplift Aeronautics has been steadily improving its fixed-wing cargo delivery capabilities,” said Mark Jacobsen, Founder, Uplift Aeronautics. “It recently flew a 130km sortie with its Waliid aircraft, a variant of the X-UAV Talon, delivering a 1kg package by parachute at the 70km point. Uplift also developed and tested a lighting system that can be toggled on and off by the autopilot, which could be useful for covert deliveries of humanitarian supplies in conflict zones. Uplift is also developing a custom MAVProxy module called ‘testpilot’ that automatically generates attractive reports with flight performance tables and plots like power, endurance, and range at various airspeeds. Testpilot can be used to compare different configurations of an aircraft and optimize an aircraft for maximum performance.”
3DRobotics and Yuneec International Co. Ltd. are Platinum, founding members of Dronecode, which includes the APM/ArduPilot open source UAV platform, and PX4, an independent, open-source, open-hardware autopilot project. More than 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode with more than 150 code commits a day on some projects. Under the neutral guidance of Dronecode, other qualified parties and developers are encouraged to participate in the development and direction of the software.
About Dronecode Project
Dronecode Foundation is a nonprofit organization working on a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Dronecode brings together existing and future open source UAV software projects, including the APM UAV software platform originally developed by 3DRobotics. More than 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode’s six projects focused on maximizing adoption of the project’s cost-effective, reliable and technologically advanced UAV software. A Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, Dronecode is an independently funded software project that harnesses the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. https://www.dronecode.org
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