Dronecode, a nonprofit organization who are developing a common, shared open source platform for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), recently announced a key milestone. The organization have gained investments from 27 new member organizations, and has formed technical working groups in order to advance the Dronecode platform.
In total Dronecode have received investments from 51 member organizations, and its membership has nearly tripled since its emergence. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and one of Dronecode’s founding members, have agreed to become a platinum level investor as it launches new products for the UAV ecosystem. Recently Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. rolled out Qualcomm® Snapdragon Flight™, a highly integrated 58x40mm board intended for robotics and consumer drones applications. The Snapdragon Flight is based on a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 processor, and with Dronecode PX4 open source UAV software and robust connectivity, bringing advanced mobile technologies to create consumer drones in a new class.
According to reports from BI Intelligence's "Drone Market Forecast 2015", the top growth rate for UAVs or drones is commercial opportunities across applications in numerous sectors such as utilities, energy, mining, agriculture, and construction. The Dronecode Project unites the industry using a neutral, open source platform with the aim to assist the drone industry overcome hardware and software barriers, and to speed up the process of adopting drones for critical applications.
The most recent Dronecode members include silver members AirMap, Aerotenna LLC, Airphrame, AutoModality, Altitude Angel, CUAV, BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, Dig.y.Sol, DroneDeploy, Droidika, DroneWorks Inc., EnRoute, Emlid, Hex Technologies Limited, Falcon Unmanned, InspecTools, Incite Focus, Matternet, ProfiCNC, Sentera, Skedans, Yin Yan Tech US Inc. and Zubax. Stanford University Aerospace Design Lab, OpenTX Project, Humanitarian UAV network, and UAVCAN are new sponsored members.
The Dronecode Project is also forming three technical working groups in order to improve interoperability and standardization in the areas of airspace management; camera and gimbal controls; and hardware/software interfaces.
The details regarding the three technical working groups are given below:
The Airspace Working Group was assembled to establish common data types, formats, and units which all airspace providers can transmit and receive. This working group will also conduct discussions on best practices on how to ensure separation between aircraft(s) and draw an agreement on common response behavior.
The MAVlink Camera Working Group will be assisting camera manufacturers who are implementing the MAVlink protocol in cameras. The working group will also be working with manufacturers and developers to expand the Dronecode platform to support additional cameras and operations.
The Hardware Working Group’s mission is to establish electrical and mechanical standards for interfaces to the autopilot and the peripherals. This will produce an enhanced formal interface between software and hardware development and combine the efforts put in by the Dronecode members and the open source developers working to advance UAVs.
From increasing member investments to a growing, vibrant developer community, the Dronecode Project's first year has been extremely exciting. By bringing efforts together to establish a common platform and utilizing open source best practices, we're able to build the foundation for a new era of drone applications that extend from the camera to the cloud. The Dronecode "full-stack" platform approach, combined with the hardware and software innovations of its members, will bring about a new generation of drones that are autonomous, aware of their environments, and continuously connected -- an airborne Internet of Things.
Chris Anderson, 3DR CEO and Dronecode Board of Directors Chairman.
The Dronecode Project falls under a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. The Linux Foundation was established in 2000, and today it offers training, tools, and events to meet any open source project. Together they deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one country.