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FlytBase today announced its Drone-API as a Service offering, that allows developers to easily connect their drones with variety of business applications in the cloud. More from sUASNews story:

FlytBase, Inc., a startup building developer platforms for connected intelligent drones, today announced the release of industry’s first Drone-API as a Service offering. While most modern businesses run on cloud-based applications, connecting drones to the cloud has been quite challenging. FlytBase plans to change that with their FlytBase Cloud platform.


Over last few years, IoT (Internet of Things) industry has designed communication protocols to help “things” connect to the internet. However, requirements for drones are very different from regular “things”. Typical IoT devices are deployed in very large numbers, consume low-power, and send small amounts of data spread over long durations of time. Drones, on the other hand, are deployed in smaller fleets, have large lithium-based batteries, and send large amount of data over short period of time. Drone applications need real-time navigation, telemetry and payload access over a high-bandwidth secure link. Further, drones are often intelligent devices, taking several critical decisions onboard, unlike most IoT devices which rely on cloud for their intelligence. To meet these specific drone requirements, FlytBase has designed a custom protocol, from the ground-up. FlytBase Cloud makes use of this protocol to efficiently connect drones to your cloud-based business applications in real time.


Drones are today being successfully used in a number of industry verticals, such as, agriculture, construction, surveys and inspections. However, most of the applications are restricted to a single operator on the field, and do not directly communicate with the cloud. Several cloud-based drone applications, such as, DroneDeploy, Propeller and Redbird need the data from the drones to be downloaded manually, after the flight. This data is then required to be uploaded to their cloud servers for post processing. With FlytBase Cloud, such applications can be completely automated.


A few vertically integrated solutions, such as those offered by Airware, Precision Hawk, Kespry do offer higher levels of integration and connectivity. However, these are not open for developers to customise and build their own integrations with business apps. For example, if one had to build a drone that is connected over cloud and follows voice commands from Alexa, it would take several days to put it together. With FlytBase Cloud, it can be done in minutes. With FlytBase Cloud, developers can easily build applications like, automating fleet of drones to scan the warehouse and update the inventory in Salesforce every week, with no manual intervention. “We are moving towards an era of Internet of Drones (IoD). FlytBase is excited to offer industry’s first platform to help developers quickly build and deploy customised IoD solutions”, says Founder and CEO of FlytBase, Nitin Gupta.


FlytBase has partnered with to provide ready integration of drones with hundreds of business apps, such as, Salesforce, Box, Slack, Twilio, Cisco Spark, Zendesk, Dropbox, Nest, YouTube. This allows users to easily build automated workflows, that leverage drones as part of the solution, without writing any code.


With little standardisation in drone hardware and communication protocols, it has been extremely challenging for developers to work with hardware from different manufacturers. The software applications designed for drones from one manufacturer, do not work with others. Dhiraj Dhule, Director of Strategic Projects at FlytBase, summarises the efforts of FlytBase to address this challenge, “FlytBase has been working on building adapters to support a large number of drone manufacturers, and offers an unified set of APIs for developers. This isolates the application developers from the underlying drone hardware, and makes their applications portable across drones”. FlytBase Cloud is built to support these APIs, and is, thus, compatible with all major drone platforms available today.


FlytBase also provides a cloud-based drone simulator, FlytSim, for developers to completely test their applications in simulation, before deploying them on real hardware. “There are a large number of software developers with no prior background in drones. FlytSim helps them build and test their drone applications much faster, cheaper and without any of the risks associated with direct implementation on hardware”, says Sharvashish Das, Director of Engineering at FlytBase.


Internet connectivity is the next frontier for drone technology. With easy access to 4G/LTE networks across the world, Internet of Drones (IoD) is expected to unleash a new wave of innovation and drive further growth in this sector. FlytBase Cloud lowers the entry barrier and provides ready tools for developers to leverage this technology for building innovative products and for offering new services. Besides applications that have already found wide adoption, such as, surveys and inspections, applications that need live connectivity with a large number of drones, such as, use of drones for logistics and smart-cities, would greatly benefit from this technology.


To learn more about the FlytBase Cloud, visit, or write to to schedule a call with FlytBase Drone Applications Expert, today.


About FlytBase


FlytBase is a startup based out of Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, building developer tools for connected intelligent drones. Its flagship product, FlytOS, is the world’s first drone operating system that works across the widest range of hardware options, including, those from Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Raspberry Pi and Samsung. FlytBase also offers, FlytSim, a simulator for drone applications, and Drone Software Development Kits for web and mobile platforms. Developers are using FlytBase tools to build drones for various commercial applications, such as, automated agricultural surveys, logistics, industrial inspections and emergency response. FlytBase recently received the TiE50 award at TiEcon Silicon Valley, and was a part of Cisco Launchpad accelerator program.


To learn more about FlytBase Cloud, please visit:

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FlytOS now supports Intel Edison!


While there has been a lot of interest in use of Intel Edison on drones, it has been quite challenging to get this tiny board configured for any practical use. FlytOS now brings the power of advanced drone applications to the Intel Edison platform. With FlytOS, you can make use of your Edison to implement all these (and more) capabilities on your DIY drones:

  • get video streaming (over wifi or 3G/4G) up and running on Intel Edison in minutes!
  • get your drone to autonomously detect and follow objects (vision based), with object selection/lock, etc. on your GCS. Ready code to do this is available on github.
  • recognise machine-tags (April Tags) for landing sites, etc. Sample application is available on github.
  • implement visual servoing to lock on to objects and track them using a gimbal. Complete code is available to get this up and running in minutes (video on youtube)
  • your drone can be controlled/monitored via web-based (RESTful and websocket) APIs. This can be done over local networks, or over 3G/4G links. Web-based GCS - FlytConsole - is integrated with FlytOS to provide an over-the-air, installation-free GCS.
  • build/configure swarms (multiple drones) to coordinate and talk to single/multiple GCS/apps.
  • quickly build your custom mobile apps (using APIs/SDKs) to command/monitor your drones. Several sample apps are available on github.
  • quickly implement variety of custom algorithms in Python/C++/ROS using the APIs.

Download FlytOS here (free):
Installation Guide / Documentation:
Youtube channel:
Sample Applications on Github:
FlytOS Support:

FlytOS, of course, supports various other more-powerful companion computers, like: Odroid, Nvidia TX1, Raspberry Pi 3.

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FlytOS: First stable release is out!


After months of extensive testing, we are happy to announce the first stable release of FlytOS, the framework for advanced drone applications.

As some members of the community would recollect, FlytOS is built on ROS and Linux, to help developers quickly integrate high-level applications, such as, stream live-video, computer vision, machine learning, mobile-app based drone control, cloud connectivity for drones, etc. FlytOS is now compatible with a wide range of companion computers, such as, Odroid XU4, Raspberry Pi, Nvidia TX1, Intel Edison, Intel Aero and Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight; so, whatever apps you build, they are automatically compatible with all of them. 

FlytOS is preconfigured with a generic development environment, that includes your favourite libraries, such as, ROS, OpenCV, GStreamer. Focused on developers, FlytOS provides extensive APIs in ROS, Python, CPP, RESTful, websocket to interact with drones. Further, apps built for FlytOS can be tested using FlytSIM, a 3D simulator, based on ROS/Gazebo. FlytOS, of course, comes loaded with a number of sample codes to help you get started quickly.

Here is a sample application, where we use FlytOS to implement machine learning algorithms on TX1 to automatically detect and classify objects (everything is processed in real-time on the drone): 

Next application demonstrates visual servoing of a gimbal mounted camera, using FlytOS:

And one more, for visual object detection, tracking and following:

To get started, just flash a memory card with the FlytOS image and plug it into your companion computer.

Get FlytOS here:

Detailed documentation is available here:

Checkout the Github repo for sample apps:

For any technical issues, please use the forums:

We hope you will have as much fun using FlytOS for your drone applications, as much we are having building it! Do continue to share your comments and feedback to help us make it better.

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We are glad to announce the compatibility of FlytOS (framework for commercial drone applications development) with the Ardupilot flight stack, as we had promised earlier.

What this means is, that the Ardupilot community can now easily leverage the companion computers (Ordoid, Raspi 3, TX1 and others) to build variety of commercial high-level drone applications. All the capabilities of FlytOS, including, Gazebo-3D simulator, mobile/web APIs, computer-vision APIs, FlytConsole, authentication/security, etc. are now fully supported on the Ardupilot based drones.

Here is how a simple android joystick app can be used to control an Ardupilot drone:

An android app to get your drone operate in follow-me mode:

Use the FlytVision APIs for building advanced computer-vision applications for your ardupilot-powered drones:

Or, use FlytConsole, the web-based GCS, for configuring and operating your ardupilot-powered drones:

Build and test your drone applications in simulation with FlytSim (ROS/Gazebo based):

Instructions on using FlytOS for your commercial drone applications can be found here:

The github repository for a variety of applications built for FlytOS is available here:

To download and learn more about FlytOS, please visit:

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For most modern drone applications, it becomes important to implement custom flight modes, such as, follow-me, orbit, cable-cam, selfie, and so on. These modes help automate several drone functions to allow the operator better focus on the key task at hand.

However, these custom flight-modes have so far been available only on ready-to-fly drones, which are pre-configured, tightly-coupled with the drone hardware, and do not allow DIY folks to reconfigure/tweak or introduce new modes, based on their requirements. FlytOS now makes it quite simple for DIY community to implement a variety of such modes (including, advanced stuff, such as, computer vision, swarms, cloud-connectivity, mobile/web app integration). 

This demo shows an implementation of the "follow-me" mode on a custom drone. A custom user-interface has been exposed on an android app, which can be used to view the location of drone on google-map, get live video feed (onboard camera), and adjust the position of the drone relative to the person being followed. The user-interface can easily be made available as a web-app, or an iOS app, as well.

The source code for this custom app is available here:

To download FlytOS and start implementing you own custom flight-modes, visit:

Documentation for FlytOS is available at:

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This is quick intro to FlytConsole, the web-based setup/configuration utility, bundled with FlytOS. FlytConsole is served by the onboard web-server, which is a part of FlytOS. So, you can start accessing/configuring your flight computer without downloading/installing any GCS application. Just point your web-browser to your flight computer, and you are good to go! It is built using RESTful APIs and web-socket connections.

FlytConsole offers a clean dashboard with all key parameters in one place. It provides access to all regular GCS features, such as, frame-selection, sensor calibration, RC calibration, gain-tuning, autopilot-parameters, waypoint navigation, mavlink inspector and so on. Some new features, such as, esc calibration and motor testing have been introduced (more are being added).

Why is FlytConsole interesting? Because it is very easily customisable and extensible (built using simple html and javascript)! Further, it eliminates the need for installation of any special GCS software on the client machine; and can be readily accessed from even a mobile device. Most importantly, FlytConsole serves as a template, allowing developers to reuse the code, to develop their own custom user-interface for their drone applications. Future commercial applications will all need their own custom interfaces (along with custom onboard/cloud apps). A single/common GCS will not make the cut. FlytOS makes it super-simple to build commercial drone applications (onboard, web/mobile, cloud), integrate a variety of payloads, leverage the power of ROS and OpenCV (libraries for collision avoidance, computer vision, SLAM, swarms), and expose custom user-interface over web/mobile.

While it may not look very polished yet, all the back-end features have been integrated and thoroughly tested. We are adding several other interesting features to FlytConsole, and are looking for more contributors to help us in this effort, esp. with UI/UX refinement. If you would like to contribute, do let us know! We will be happy to share the development plan.

FlytConsole is a sub-project of FlytOS project. The initial release is available for download (as part of FlytOS) at: ;

More sample applications (onboard and web/mobile) built for FlytOS are available here:

Documentation for FlytConsole is available here:

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A powerful companion computer, like Ordoid XU4, can help build many interesting and complex applications on drones, such as, those using computer vision, swarms, cloud-connectivity, AI, machine learning, and more. Even for regular applications, like, aerial surveys, mapping, or photography, having a companion computer can greatly simplify application development and deployment. However, we need a reliable/robust/well-planned framework to make this happen, and keep it scalable/flexible for future drone applications.

We have been building FlytOS to address this need. FlytOS is built on ROS (Robot Operating System), and it helps drone developers exploit the power of linux-based companion computers. The APIs for navigation, configuration, setup, computer-vision, communication are available in C++, Python and ROS, making it extremely easy to build/deploy custom applications. Builtin web-server allows developers to host web-based UIs and connect to remote/mobile devices using RESTful APIs and web-socket connections, with authentication and security. Further, a ROS/Gazebo based simulator has been tightly integrated with FlytOS to allow developers test their applications in simulation, before deploying those on real hardware. Several other features, such as, onboard web-based setup/GCS utility, video streaming utilities, are also included in FlytOS.

Overall FlytOS architecture is shown in the image below:


To learn more about FlytOS, please visit:

We are happy to announce the release of initial version of FlytOS. It has been extensively tested at our lab over last few weeks, and we are now inviting more collaborators, contributors and testers to try it out! It can be used with your own hardware setup (recommended setup: Pixhawk + Odroid; feel free to try it with other combinations and submit your results) or with FlytPOD. It is available for download as two options: a debian package (about 20 MBs), or a complete image (about 2 GBs). The instructions for installation of both the options are available in the documentation.

FlytOS is available for download here:

FlytOS installation instructions are available here:

API documentation is available here:

FlytSim documentation is available here:

Repository for sample onboard and web/mobile applications is here:

Please do share your feedback and comments. We are looking for more contributors to join us in this effort!

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FlytOS is a framework for building high-level drone applications, such as, aerial delivery, precision agriculture, surveys, photography, industrial inspections, disaster management.

It is built on ROS (Robot Operating System) and Linux, making it an ideal platform for research and commercial drone applications. It interacts with the drone / autopilot (flight stack) and exposes high level FlytAPIs in ROS, C++, Python, RESTand Websocket. These rich set of APIs allow for easy development of onboard business logic, as well as remote monitoring and control through web and mobile apps.

FlytOS provides several other features, including, security and 3D software simulator, to help developers build professional drone apps better and faster! 


Some of the key features of FlytOS are:

  1. Built on ROS: easily plug-in any of the advanced ROS modules for vision, swarm, SLAM, etc.

  2. Rich APIs for Navigation, vehicle-setup, calibration, etc.

  3. Onboard APIs for ROS, C++, Python.

  4. RESTful and Websocket APIs for Web/Mobile.

  5. Support for Pixhawk (PX4 flight stack), with linux companion computer.

  6. Trigger onboard apps from remote mobile/web UI.

  7. Easy custom-data plumbing between onboard apps and remote web/mobile UI.

  8. 3D Software Simulator for testing apps, without access to drone hardware.

FlytOS will soon be available to the drone developers community. Support for APM and other popular autopilots/drones is also being added to FlytOS. Learn more about FlytOS, here.

You can start building/testing your drone-apps right away with FlytSim, a 3D software simulator, based on Pixhawk SITL (no autopilot or drone hardware required). Several interesting sample onboard (CPP, Python), and web/mobile apps are now available on github, to try out with FlytSim. Checkout the FlytSim Demo, below (Youtube link):

If you would like to use an optimized/tightly-integrated linux flight-computer, please join the beta program for FlytPOD here:

Documentation and sample apps for FlytSim and FlytOS can be found here:

FlytSim is available for download here:

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We are launching the beta program for Flyt: Drone Applications Platform. To sign up, please visit:

What is Flyt?

Flyt platform consists of an advanced flight computer system (FlytPOD) and its operating system (FlytOS), that allow developers and researchers build and deploy custom drone applications for variety of use-cases, such as, precision agriculture, surveys, delivery, aerial photography, inspections, etc. It is built on proven components to seamlessly handle all the complexities of making drones work, and provides the right toolset to developers to efficiently implement high-level application logic.

The key features provided by the Flyt platform are:

  1. Open APIs to write custom drone applications in Python / C++ / REST / ROS.
  2. Plug-n-play payload support: easily integrate your application specific payloads (cameras, sensors, actuators).
  3. Octa-core processor: implement image-processing, SLAM and other computationally intensive algorithms, onboard your drones.
  4. SDK and sample apps for Web/Mobile: create custom UI for your applications.

Why Flyt?

Flyt is built by the young multidisciplinary team of researchers at NavStik Labs. Having worked with various drone developers and researchers across the world, we realised that although the technology has matured to enable use of drones in a variety of commercial applications, it was still quite challenging to build one! The developers need to deal with a number of layers (in hardware and software), before they can get started with the real work of building the business application. Further, we could not find any suitable flight-computer, available off-the-shelf, that a developer can get started with. This was the genesis of Flyt.

Flyt offers a radically different approach to building drone applications. The communication architecture has been designed ground-up, to allow seamless data-sharing between onboard apps and ground (web/mobile) apps. This allows easy integration of custom payloads (sensors, actuators), as required for the application. ROS and OpenCV are an integral part of the platform, making it extensible and compliant with standards. Advanced capabilities, such as, onboard image-processing, swarm, SLAM, AI / ML, cloud-connectivity, etc. can be easily integrated on Flyt. The innovative FlytConsole app makes it easy to configure/manage your FlytPOD through a web/mobile interface.

With Flyt, we hope a number of developers and researchers will be able to jump start their drone projects. A large number of common components, needed for any advanced drone application, have been pre-implemented in the framework, which are exposed through open APIs. SDKs and sample-codes make it easy to build custom onboard and web/mobile apps, to get the drones working for you!

Tech Specs:


Hardware (FlytPOD):

  • Processors: Octa Core - A15 @2GHz, A7 @1.4 GHz, and ARM Cortex-M4 @180MHz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics: Mali T628 (600 MHz)
  • Storage: 32 GB
  • Sensors:
    • 3-axis Accelerometer
    • 3-axis Gyroscope
    • 3-axis Magnetometer
    • Barometer, GPS
  • Support for: Dual GPS & Mag, Gimbal, LiDAR, Px4Flow, Camera
  • Communication: Built-in High Power WiFi - Dual Antenna, ext. 3G/4G dongle, ext. radio options.
  • Interfaces:
    • 2 x USB3.0 + 1 x USB2.0
    • HDMI Out

Software (FlytOS):

  • Linux: Lubuntu 14.04
  • ROS Indigo, OpenCV 2.4.11
  • FlytCore v1.0, FlytConsole v1.0
  • OpenWRT for networking
  • C++, Python, ROS, RESTful APIs
  • SDKs for Web/Mobile
  • Support for Multirotors, Fixed-Wing
  • Authentication, Security and Updates Management


Launching Beta Program!

We have completed the internal trials and are launching the beta program. We will be working closely with select beta-flyters, over next few months, to get their drone applications up and running. We hope to gather a lot of valuable feedback and fine-tune the platform, to suit their needs, during the course of this program.

We are looking to engage with researchers and developers who are keen on building advanced drone application for various use-cases. If you would like to participate in the beta program, please visit:

We are working on extensive documentation, user manual, tutorial videos, and sample onboard/web/mobile apps to help you get started!

We are all ears for any comments or feedback. Please feel free to get in touch with us at!

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NavStik users are now using NavStik to build a variety of autonomous systems. Its extremely small size and light weight (4 grams), coupled with a powerful Cortex M4 processor and digital sensors, allow its use in a wide range of autonomous/intelligent mini and micro UAV systems. Users have successfully deployed NavStik on fixed-wing, rotary wing (co-ax), multicopter and flapping-wing MAVs.


Here is the raw video captured during one of the recent quadcopter flight tests:


Users at IIT Kanpur are using NavStik to fly autonomous rotary wing (co-ax) MAVs:


They have also successfully stabilized a flybarless co-ax using NavStik:


More details are available, here:


If you are using NavStik for any of these applications, we will be happy to help you out!

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3689479390?profile=originalWe are glad to announce the release of a micro navigation and control module to serve as an autopilot for UAVs/MAVs. NavStik is one of the smallest and most powerful such platforms available with open-source RTOS based software/drivers that can be used for a variety of applications related to mobile robotics.

This module is intended for use by researchers and hobbyists. All the firmware and drivers are available in open-source to help users start building their applications, quickly.

Key features of this module are:

  • 3-axis Accelerometer
  • 3-axis Gyroscope
  • 3-axis Magnetometer
  • Barometer (Static Pressure Sensor)
  • GPS
  • Temperature Sensors for Temperature Compensation of Sensor Data
  • Cortex M4 Based Microcontroller (STM32F4: 32 bit, 168 MHz)
  • Onboard SPI Flash with 16 Mb Memory
  • Connectors for Interface Board (required for power and interface to external world)
  • Connectors for Gumstix Overo® (optional - available from Gumstix; for power intensive applications)
  • Connector for GPS Antenna (optional; required for GPS applications)
  • Differential Pressure Sensor (optional; for air-speed estimation)
  • Power Regulators and Switches (for programatically controlling power to subsections)

Interface board (IvyPRO) provides following additional features:

  • 12 PWM channels: In/Out Reconfigurable
  • Micro-SD Card Support
  • Telemetry Port (UART)
  • 2 Full-Speed USB Ports (one can be used for firmware upload)
  • Port for Spektrum Receiver (UART)
  • Gumstix Overo® UART and USB (2 nos) ports
  • Debug Port (for connection to IvyGS for JTAG debugging and console)
  • Onboard current measurement
  • Battery voltage monitor
  • Efficient DC-DC converter for wide input voltage range (4.5 V - 14 V)
  • Automatic power switching between USB and Battery
  • ESD and short-circuit protection

The ground-station board (IvyGS) connects to the interface board using the debug cable, and provides these functions:

  • JTAG debugging
  • NavStik console
  • Overo® console
  • Telemetry port for GCS (UART)

A suitable interface board may be selected based on the application. A debugging (JTAG) and ground-control-station board (with telemetry interface and console) is also available. For more details please checkout the community portal: Limited boards are now available and can be ordered from the NavStik store:

We look forward to feedback from the research and hobbyist community on NavStik and how would they want it to evolve. Please do leave your comments below or write to us at

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