3D Robotics


When we announced earlier this year that we were going to be working with Sony to bring out the R10C, which has the best sensor in the industry, we also said we were going to do more than just strap a great camera on a Solo. And we did: we've created a custom gimbal and API interface with the R10C that allows Solo Site Scan to not only automatically control every aspect of the camera in real time during flight, but also automatically transfer full-resolution (20 megapixel) images to the cloud wirelessly in near real-time, via our new iOS app.  It's out now!




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  • You cannot easily build "value" around GPL licenses in a way that interests investors. It is not quite good versus evil but you can understand why Devs do not want to place their assets under Dronecode's control.

    I question the assumption that this will hurt Ardupilot devs though. Dronecode did little to nothing for Ardupilot as far as I know.
  • Developer

    The ArduPilot sites, currently have none of that although they do have a lot of information if you know where to look.

    You can chat in the general section http://discuss.ardupilot.org/c/general

    And we have news pages now at http://www.ardupilot.org

  • Well, I am at least glad that cat is finally out of the bag, already knew about it but really couldn't say anything.

    Although a few hints were buried in some of my posts.

    Sadly this is a really big deal and will definitely hurt the ArduPilot developers who have poured their heart and soul into this for years.

    Now there are two different sites dealing with this.

    This one, from whom the ArduPilot developers have already pretty much divorced themselves (for obvious reasons).

    And the ArduPilot.com and .org sites that the developers are supporting.

    DIYDrones has the community and very nice website features and landing page that lend it the personality and ease of interraction with that we all enjoy.

    The ArduPilot sites, currently have none of that although they do have a lot of information if you know where to look.

    I understand why 3DR / Chris did this, there really probably wasn't any real choice, he has venture capitalists and major corporations heavily invested and involved in 3DR and to them intellectual property is the cream that their CEOs love to skim off the top.

    FYI I am in complete disagreement with this grossly capitalist and greed oriented move, but the moment the sharks entered the tank it was almost certainly inevitable.

    I actually think intellectual property of all types ought to not exist.

    Edison was really the person who single-handedly brought the current implementation of intellectual property into existence - basically you invent it I own it.

    The idea of intellectual property was to give the originators / inventors a way to get value from their creations, the current implementation is to give corporations more ways to exploit you.

    Oh well, enough on that, it is what it is and it really shouldn't be a surprise to anybody, if anybody thinks DJI or any of the other large companies are any different, I seriously doubt it.

    I guess from our standpoint we have to individually decide how we want to proceed, simply get all the nifty closed or semi-open toys from the shark pool or be in the forefront of real development.

    I think you can tell where I will be going.

    I will happily fly my Solo for taking pictures, but if I can I'll be helping and working with the Ardu guys, because theat will still be where the rubber meets the road.

    Best regards,


  • @ Chris A. That is an impressive looking. I can see it being useful for good-size construction sites but I think we all agree that Solo at 10-15 minutes has some limitations. It may be that Sitescan has a good market niche though.

  • @Guy +1 on that. I would wish 3DR well with their future ventures but the Arducopter and the community around it is where my interests and time will be spent. 

  • Developer

    Just my two Cents,

    i feel sad about this developments, as a professional operator I just (finally) considered to buy at least one 3dr solo vehicle (or other system that lives in the Eco system) but i will now probably need to consider a DJI system regardless how embarrassing it is for me and previous bad experiences with DJI stuff..
    As Linux user and open source fan i will stick with ArduPilot. It is the most warm and nice experience i had and it is where all this started for me.
    Thanks you community and developers for delivering awesome performance and for all the fun!

    Thanks for starting this whole community Chris and i am sorry for you that it did not work out in the first place and you had to leave.

  • Developer

    go to 17m19s in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i8IzmlS2GA&feature=youtu.be&am...

    "The GPL because is works" "It's in our culture" Chris Anderson

    "In GPL we trust" - Chris Anderson (but it was edited out of the video)

    This is just business to obtain the corporate dollar. It's an abject failure to build a business around the known parameters. And it a far cry from the meritocracy pyramid that was posted 5 yrs ago.

    There is every opportunity to run the business along respectful. Ethical. Moral lines and this seeena to have been forgotten. The GPL really has stopped the generosity of others being leverage for only the personal gain of the few.

  • What has this come to???

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!!

  • 3D Robotics

    Needless to say, it's not my practice to post official Dronecode announcements in random threads, but since there's already precedent, this is the official note that went out from the Dronecode Leadership.  A few notes to remember: 1) I started Dronecode and I am its chairman. 2) I also started ArduPilot and handed if off to another team, who unfortunately changed its licence to GPLv3, which is kryptonite to all big tech companies. 3) Dronecode is bigger than ever, but it is evolving to better serve the big companies that now increasingly dominated the drone market. So we couldn't have GPLv3 code as part of it, since those company's IP policies won't allow it. 

    Here's our letter:


    Dear Dronecode Members,
    As you may have heard, Dronecode is reorganizing the project and organization to better serve your needs.

    The main request we heard from the members (and prospective members) is the desire for Dronecode to have a “distro”, a full-stack code base with a regular release cadence and roadmap, so that the members can align their own products around it. One of the main confusions about Dronecode to date is that it has been a relatively loose alliance of related projects, but not a "thing". “How can I download and use Dronecode?” is a common question, and one that we haven’t had a good answer to due to the “basket of projects” composition of the organization.
    We’ve heard you and are now restructuring Dronecode to create just that: a proper world-class distro, built for commercial use, with a regular release cadence and roadmap.
    There was, however, disagreement within the Dronecode projects on this, both in vision and leadership. The result is that we are forking Dronecode. And that is a good thing.  The truth of the matter is that these things happen when there is a real misalignment about the technical direction of the project. 
    The majority of participants in the ecosystem, not just current Dronecodemembers but also commercial adopters who would like to become Dronecodemembers in the future, want a simple to install and use Dronecode distribution based on PX4.  Tridge, Philip and Tom, who have done great work in ArduPilot/APM, disagreed.  Thus the fork.
    Some may paint this as corporates vs. hobbyists or silvers vs. platinums or as a matter of software freedom.  None of these are true.  We had a genuine disagreement and it has now been resolved. Dronecode will be based on PX4 going forward.
    Further, and less important than the technical disagreement, APM assets were moved to the Software in the Public Interest earlier this year which put us in an awkward position by asking the Dronecode ecosystem to invest in core asset that the project itself did not own.   Lorenz on the other hand has contributed the PX4 mark and web assets to Dronecode ensuring that it is something this organization can confidently use as a neutrally held asset owned byDronecode itself. 
    Dronecode is committed to provide a unified code base on a regular release cadence that will be easy to implement with clear API's that will support the development of a rich UAV ecosystem.  The Dronecode distribution will be released on a regular 6 month cadence and implementors can be confident using it in a commercial product or a hobby project.   As always, technical governance will be open, the technical steering committee will be charged with decisions about the code and everything will be under an open source license. 
    In the coming weeks, the Technical Steering Committee will be finishing the roadmap for a PX4-based distro and sharing this with you for your feedback.  I think you'll be impressed.
    The drone market is evolving quickly and we're evolving with it. This is an opportunity for Dronecode to provide the world's leading full-stack open software platform, organized along professional best-practice principles with clarity and alignment across the organization.  We are now unified in this and ready to win.
  • I can understand that, as companies, they want to get back some of what they put in. Keeping a company in the market is hard, very hard.

    But apart from that it is very sad that a consensus could not be done and that Ardupilot with all its history and work would be put in that position.

    Lets see if we can get some official statement and information in the following days from both parts.

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