Dronecode Project membership, funding grows during first year

By Patrick C. Miller | January 14, 2016

The Dronecode Project—a program to unite the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry around a neutral, open-source drone platform—has reached new milestones in membership and funding levels in its first year of operation.

The 50-member organization said its membership has nearly tripled since its founding and now includes investments from 27 new members. It also has formed three technical working groups to advance the Dronecode open-source platform for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

“From increasing member investments to a growing, vibrant developer community, the Dronecode Project’s first year has been extremely exciting,” said Chris Anderson, the group’s board chairman. “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.”

Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a Dronecode founding member, increased its investment level in the organization while introducing new UAV products. The company recently launched the Snapdragon Flight, a highly integrated board targeted specifically for consumer drones and robotics applications. It is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor, as well as Dronecode’s PX4 open source UAV software.

Anderson said Dronecode provides a "full-stack" platform approach, combining the hardware and software innovations of its members to bring about a new generation of drones that are “autonomous, aware of their environments, and continuously connected—an airborne Internet of Things."

The organization cited a study by BI Intelligence (“Drone Market Forecast 2015”) showing the highest growth rate for UAV commercial opportunities in such applications as agriculture, energy, utilities, mining and construction.

The three new Dronecode working groups are the:

-       MAVlink Camera Working Group which assists camera manufacturers in implementing the MAVlink protocol in cameras.

-       Airspace Working Group which establishes common data types, units and formats that all airspace providers can use to transmit and receive.

-       Hardware Working Group which will establish mechanical and electrical standards for interfaces to the UAV autopilot and its peripherals.

The newest Dronecode members are: Aerotenna LLC, AirMap, Airphrame, Altitude Angel, AutoModality, BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, CUAV, Droidika, Dig.y.Sol, DroneDeploy, DroneWorks Inc., Emlid, EnRoute, Falcon Unmanned, Hex Technologies Limited, Incite Focus, Inspectools, Matternet, ProfiCNC, Sentera, Skedans, Yin Yan Tech US Inc., Zubax, Humanitarian UAV network, OpenTX Project, Stanford University Aerospace Design Lab and UAVCAN.

The Dronecode Project is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Founded in 2000, the foundation’s objective it to provide tools, training and events to scale open-source projects to “deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company.”


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