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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  • Thanks for the clarification, Chris.

  • 3D Robotics

    Oliver: that quote is not from me, but rather from the note from the silver members. It's not accurate, because it's half of a sentence and the other half wasn't included. The context was the Dronecde budget. Platinum members pay $100,000 each and Silver members pay $1,000 each. So from a financial perspective the Silver dues don't matter -- that's just math. From all other perspectives they matter hugely, which is why I personally recruited so many of them (and love them).

  • 3D Robotics

    Guy: You do realize that we supported *two* dev teams (APM and PX4) and *both* are open source. We are now just supporting one (PX4), but it's still very much open source.  I'm confused by why people don't understand that. PX4 is 100% open source.

  • Developer

    Now that the break is fully official, I made a new blog post with the official announcement from ArduPilot. Perhapse it would be better to continue the discussion there, so we don't hijack this thread any further.

  • Developer

    If nothing else it seems DroneCode is in good company when they joined The Linux Foundation.


    Sadly by now there are many examples showing that commercial interests have a tendency to end up being in direct conflict with community driven projects.

  • Moderator
    And that's not directed at you, Oliver. Just thought I should point it out since you were the last poster.
  • Moderator
    This conversation really does need to happen, but I think we could benefit a lot more from -less- speculation from those outside of "the know".

    Instead of implying that "you" are privy to private conversations, invite those people to this conversation.

    I would like to hear more from both sides of this, but I really don't want to sort through the tin-hat commentary.
  • Fair enough, Chris, on top developers. And the GPL v2 vs V3 difference. Not  trivial.

    But "somehow unfairly benefited from free community labor"?

    It's an entire ecosystem, you know that as well if not better than anyone else. Without the whole, everything falls apart. The unpaid developers, the helpers, the cheerers, the Marcos, PatH's, RobLs, GaryMs, JasonS's, and hundreds, thousands others silently or not so silently cheering Ardupilot, and/or offering free tech support, be it as simple as "Check your Throttle_Mid value", etc ... . Without them 3DR would not exist, you'd be but an unknown parenthesis in the world of drones, and so would this site.

     I for one gratefully acknowledge the pivotal role you've played in  supporting that community (this website is just one of many  examples)  and relentlessly championing them. Thank you, sincerely.


    "Chris Anderson, made his priorities clear when he said that “the Silver members don’t matter” and that he “doesn’t care about the Silver members”.

    Again. Really?

    Don't know how to interpret this other than a not so subtle "Couldn't care less about  that community". I got what I wanted". Thank you and goodbye. (Someone else used that, hmmm).

    You can always  help me out, correct me, or have the courage to say it precisely  like it is.

  • Gee, I've been away from the DIYD for a bit, letting my Pixhawk and APMs have a little rest while wringing out some very commercial yet extremely capable quads; I guess I shouldn't leave ya'll home alone, because when I stuck my head in the room just now, what do I find? A damned brawl! Like in some third-world parliament, with shoes being hurled! Too bad, but surly not unexpected.

    There's a smell of corporate panic in the air, I imagine set off by the sparkling magic wand of the FAA rather unexpectedly dusting everyone with gold glitter. All the noble "open source community" hyperbole fades away in an instant when big dollars are suddenly sniffed, does it not? The race-gates are open, the main event has started, and among other things, nice guys finish last. The open source community, having been milked enough to propel at least one fringey little company into venture-capital land (where it is now asking $12000 for a one-year subscription to one of its drones), is now a threat. Now that there's real money on the horizon, Mr. Fat Daddy VC  cannot have a bunch of nerdy idealists simply giving away developments that could affect this race to the top -- which is also a race to survive, as there will be casualties. Think Tucker....

    So, divide, disrupt, distract, conquer, starting with a clumsy pointy boot out the door administered by a guy who apparently believes he's platinum. It's the cheap way to go, this all being sort of junior-level coup-ing, with nobody prepared to simply buy the principals (who may or may not be for sale, I have no idea).

    That bit of panic may also reflect fear of looming events off-stage, as rumor has it that some of the larger players in the hobby/pro-sumer arena, say the likes of Horizon, Yuneec, etc., are gearing up to cross over into the enterprise side, using lots of open-source software. Likewise the really big boys, like Boeing, etc., are sure to jump into the running, in a downscaling sort of way (as evidenced by the already public involvement of Intel).

    The ultimate question is whether or not the absorption/annihilation of the open source community would be enough to leave one player with the super-duper electric phaser-cannon that would blast them a nice solid cave in the enterprise arena. My guess is no, it will backfire, badly, and will fall into the "killing of the golden goose" category. It looks to me like someone is making a bad mistake by underestimating the open-source knights, who are already regrouping, and by underestimating the consequences of pissing off their friends and supporters.  What I see next is a continuation of what was here before, moved into a new home. A vibrant community making wonderful things possible, things that will always overshadow and outperform the offerings motivated only by the dollar and greed, and that belong to all of us.  

  • 3D Robotics

    Guy: there's no conflict. I did hand off control to the ArduPilot leaders who did (unfortunately) change the licences to GPL v3. And I did indeed approve that at the time, not knowing how corrosive it was. I only later realized what a mistake it was, but by then it was too late to change back. 

    I know that these issues of one open source license vs another are confusing. How can I be so pro open source and so anti GPL v3? It has to do with the difference between permissive open source licences and copyleft licenses.  They are like one political party vs another. You can be pro-democracy but anti-Republican. 

    Does that make more sense?

    Permissive software license
    Copyright <YEAR>, <AUTHORS>Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are permitted in any medium without royalty, provided…
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