2012 DIY Drones Year in Review (and 2013 preview)

We had a great year here at DIY Drones. Membership is growing at the fastest pace ever (about one new member every 35 mins), as are all the other measures of participation, such as number of blog posts, discussions, comments and pictures/videos.

Traffic is also growing nicely, and we now do more than 1.6 million pageviews per month.

On the development side, 2012 was a huge year. Here are some of the highlights:

Software:

  • ArduCopter reaches maturity (2.7 and beyond)
  • ArduPlane reaches excellence, winning the Outback Challenge (team shown at right) and the Sparkfun AVC
  • ArduRover reaches adolescence ;-)
  • All codebases now being prepared for next-gen ARM-based hardware (PX4 and beyond)

New 3DR Hardware

Our hardware partner Jdrones also grew spectacularly this year, with exciting new products and new production facilites, but I'll let Jani write that post ;-)

2013 Preview 

Along with a flood of new products and continued software evolution, the big changes you'll see around here in 2013 are going to be in the websites, which are due for major improvements. 

  • The ArduCopter, ArduPlane and ArduRover manuals, which are now in the Google Code Wiki, are all being ported to a much better platform (Wordpress, with wiki enhancements). This will make them better looking, easier to navigate and easier to maintain. Look for this by March. 
  • Product support for those codebases will move to Wordpress forums, integrated with the manuals. This will allow DIY Drones to return to its primary function as a community for all things amateur UAV, without being too overwhelmed by the noise of tech support for individual products.
  • DIY Drones, which is hosted on Ning, is also due for an upgrade/redesign, which Ning is planning in Q1. We're working closely with them on this, and will address many of the current limitations of this platform, both in the outward appearance and the back-end tools for the moderators, to let them do a better job of keeping this community high-quality
  • The 3D Robotics site will be completely relaunched, with its own corporate presence, new ecommerce system and back-end ERP system. It will also host good-looking landing pages for ArduCopter, ArduPlane and ArduRover, to simplify things for newcomers.

Finally, a huge thanks to all the members, Moderators and developers who worked so hard in 2012 to make this our best year ever. This community has become something extraordinary, and every day I'm blown away by the ideas, insights, energy and creativity of the members here. Drones are hot!

Views: 2001

Comment by Greg on December 31, 2012 at 2:22pm
Well done Chris and the dev team. A great list of achievements in 2012. Happy New Year
Comment by Tom in NOVA on December 31, 2012 at 3:21pm

Congrats!  It's been fun to be a member for the 5th year now, and it's interesting and rewarding to see how this community and the products evolved during this time.  

Great to see the American Dream being fulfilled for Jordi  -thanks to his own talents, hard work, and the opportunities available in the US.  And thanks to this web site and the Internet the rest of the World can join in across varying borders/cultures being a part of this cooperation, success, and the enjoyment of this hobby!

Comment by Alfred Alan jr on December 31, 2012 at 5:12pm

Well done Chris, thanks for all of your time, congratulations and happy new year!
2013-thumbs up!!

Comment by paul hubner on January 1, 2013 at 8:43pm

...I remember when there were just a dozen or so folks here!  Well Done Chris and Jordi and countless others - cultivating an environment where we geeks can gather and 'nerd-out' for a bit. What a team you've built!

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