DroneOS - Realtime UAV tracking via the web

We're a small startup working on a project for tracking and sharing the location of UAVs and drones in real time via the web. Flights are tracked by attaching a smartphone to a drone and distributing a URL which lets your friends follow your flights in realtime on a map in a web browser.


We've been focused on building and solidifying a backend system and API to support our iPhone application. (an Android app is in the works) We're interested in feedback from the community on what we got right / wrong and where we should take the project.


Take a look at http://droneos.com and sign up for the beta if you are interested in trying it out. We are at SXSW this week if you are interested in meeting up or DM us at @droneos via Twitter.


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  • It has been on the back burner lately - code is there and working but another project has been taking all of our time. While a number of people have shown interest, few actually test. If people can test, we'll put some more time into it.

    Thanks for the nudge, John.

  • Hi, Anders.  Are you still working on this?

  • John Wiseman, friend me so I can send you our API docs.

  • Agreed on the reasons behind a RESTful interface. We are a good ways down the road with this in fact so we should be able to get you testing this very soon. I'll shoot you our docs off-thread and we can go from there.

  • Yes, I'd be interested in experimenting with an HTTP API.

    Sending C structs (mavlink messages) over UDP is (in my opinion) going to be a headache compared to HTTP.

    • Poor support from programming languages.
    • Unreliable.
    • More work to do authentication.
    • More work to do encryption.
    • More work to load balance.

    It does have the advantage of being small and fast, of course.

    HTTP APIs are the glue code of the internet, and the issues of authentication, encryption, load balancing, client language support are going to be much easier.  If payload size is a huge concern, it's not like you have to send verbose JSON (though it should be an option)--an efficient marshalling protocol like Google Protocol Buffers or Apache Thrift might be all you need.

  • Yes, but not yet public. Currently you can send us MAVLink packets via UDP. We'd love to work with you on getting a RESTful interface up if you are interested.

  • Do you have an HTTP API?

  • FYI if you are using QGroundControl, you can forward MAVLink packets to DroneOS in preferences.

  • Are you wanting to use QGroundControl or on of the mobile options?

  • So I've signed up for the beta--when can I actually begin trying your API?

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