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Linux Foundation and Leading Technology Companies Launch Open Source Dronecode Project

Linux Foundation

DUSSELDORF, Germany {EMBEDDED LINUX CONFERENCE EUROPE} – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today announced the founding of the Dronecode Project. The Project will bring together existing open source drone projects and assets under a nonprofit structure governed by The Linux Foundation. The result will be a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Founding members include 3D Robotics, Baidu, Box, DroneDeploy, Intel, jDrones, Laser Navigation, Qualcomm, SkyWard, Squadrone System, Walkera and Yuneec. Dronecode includes the APM/ArduPilot UAV software platform and associated code, which until now has been hosted by 3D Robotics, a world leader in advanced UAV autopilot and autonomous vehicle control. The company was co-founded by Chris Anderson, formerly editor-in-chief of Wired and the author of the bestselling books “The Long Tail,” “Free” and “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution.” The Dronecode project will also incorporate the partner PX4 project, led by Lorenz Meier from ETH, the Technical University of Zurich.

More than 1,200 developers are working on Dronecode with more than 150 code commits a day on some projects. Examples of projects include APM/ArduPilot, Mission Planner, MAVLink and DroidPlanner. The platform has been adopted by many of the organizations on the forefront of drone technology, including Skycatch, DroneDeploy, HobbyKing, Horizon Ag, PrecisionHawk, Agribotix, and Walkera, among others.

Andrew Tridgell (“Tridge”) will become the chair of the Dronecode Project’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and have a seat on the board. He is a lead maintainer in the development of APM/ArduPilot and is well recognized for his contributions to the open source software community, including his work as the author of the Samba file server.

“Open source software and collaborative development are advancing technologies in the hottest, most cutting-edge areas. The Dronecode Project is a perfect example of this,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “By becoming a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, the Dronecode community will receive the support required of a massive project right at its moment of breakthrough. The result will be even greater innovation and a common platform for drone and robotics open source projects.”

The Dronecode Project will help meet the needs of the growing community with a neutral governance structure and coordination of funding for resources and tools the community needs. The governance structure will allow other parties and developers to influence and participate in the development and direction of the software. The Dronecode board will be comprised of members and technical community members. The Technical Steering committee will be composed of project leads and maintainers from top-level projects. Committers can be elected to participate on the TSC.

The development of drones has drastically increased over just the last couple of years due to the vibrant maker community and the use of drones in a variety of new applications. The Teal Group, an aerospace market research firm, recently estimated that within a decade the total amount spent worldwide on research, development, testing and evaluation of drone technology will reach $91 billion. From environmental research to wildlife conservation and search and rescue, drones are becoming recognized for a wide variety of uses beyond commercial and defense applications. Furthermore, the opportunities drones provide for data analysis, storage and display open up a world of possibilities for application in business. Hundreds of thousands of developers and makers around the world today are contributing to drone technology and this future. The Dronecode Project will help advance these technologies and accelerate adoption of better, more affordable and more reliable open source software for UAVs.

The Dronecode Project is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. By spreading the collaborative DNA of the largest collaborative software development project in history, The Linux Foundation provides the essential collaborative and organizational framework so project hosts can focus on innovation and results. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects span the enterprise, mobile, embedded and life sciences markets and are backed by many of the largest names in technology. For more information about Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects, please visit: collabprojects.linuxfoundation.org/ To learn more about Dronecode Project and to start contributing today, please visit: www.dronecode.org

Source: Linux Foundation