At Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Düsseldorf the DroneCode project has been unveiled by the Linux Foundation. This Open Source project will be totally totally dedicated to UAVs and his community developments in the piloting software PX4 from the University of Zurich and APM technologies (formerly ArduPilot). This last was until now maintained by 3D Robotics, the company of the legendary Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired and author of “the long drags”. Linux was already very present in UAVs, but with DroneCode, the community of UAV manufacturers will have the equivalent of an “official distribution” for UAVs. A competitor of weight to become the back of the drones.
The Linux Foundation will take 2 major projects for UAVs under its wing
What will be the OS that will dominate on the civilian UAV market? This is the question posed by Rob Matheson on the news website of MIT about Airware, a startup that offers an OS dedicated to UAVs. It now faces a serious rival. Now grouped under the banner of the Linux Foundation, but also the support of 3D Robotics, Baidu, Box, DroneDeploy, Intel, jDrones, Laser Navigation, Qualcomm, SkyWard, Squadrone System, Walkera and Yuneec. Current users of APM and PX4, include a certain Amazon but also Agribotics, Airdog, Hexo +, VulcanUAV…
The count of the 2 communities Federated by DroneCode represents 1,200 developers, 150 submission of code every day and 170,000 downloads. Among the projects concerned, APM/ArduPilot, Mission Planner, MAVLink and DroidPlanner. This single strike force could well make this Open Source ecosystem the reference for light drones and DIY drones. The Open Hardware component is however not mentioned in documents relating to the project of the Linux Foundation.
“Dronecode: Linux Foundation, 3D Robotics Create Open-Source UAV Software Platform”, Make:, October 13, 2014
“Linux Foundation and Leading Technology Companies Launch Open Source Dronecode Project”, Linux Foundation press release, October 13, 2014
“Making drones more customizable”, MIT News, September 11, 2014
“NICTA demos drone OS using the seL4 microkernel”, TechWorld, July 3, 2014
“An Operating System for the Commercial Drone Era”, MIT Technology Review, June 5, 2013