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:
- 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 ;-)
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!