It's customary and traditional that we celebrate the addition of every 1,000 new members here and share the traffic stats. This time it's a 80,000!
There has been a huge amount of change in the drone market since this started as a hobby scratchpad for me back in 2007. We helped created a whole new industry, but it also moved from DIY to plug-and-play at light speed. The technologies, such as advanced IMUs, optical flow and cameras with computer vision, that we were first hacking together with parts from Sparkfun and Adafruit a few years ago are now standard on consumer drones that you can buy at Wal-Mart.
As drones become more sophisticated and autonomous (always the intention of this site), the hobbyists who just wanted to fly cool things shifted to FPV racing (called "drone racing" although by a strict definition they're not drones since their manually piloted). The actual "drone" part of DIY drones is now more focused on software and sensing, rather than simply getting an aircraft to fly by itself (mission accomplished on that last part -- we've come a long way!). This software side is incredibly exciting, but it's also getting pretty complex for most hobbyists and naturally lives in the world of GitHub commits and dev lists. That's what Dronecode, which is the professional side of this community, is for.
So what's next for the DIY side of drones? Here are some of the things I'm excited about:
Thanks as always to all the community members who make this growth possible, and especially to the administrators and moderators who approve new members, blog posts and otherwise respond to questions and keep the website running smoothly.