New Solo update adds Burst Mode, improved FollowMe. Also: DroneKit Python 2.0!

3DR has just released an update to the Solo app on iOS and Android that adds a new GoPro Burst camera mode as well as improved FollowMe functionality (see below). This continues a monthly feature/performance update schedule that is adding a ton of new funtionality. Next month's software update will dramatically improve GPS performance and reduce lock time, along with adding the much requested "boat mode" (launch from a moving boat). 

And don't forget that the special 20% off discount for DIY Drones members only runs another two weeks. Enter "DIYD20OFF" at checkout to get a Solo + Gimbal for just $799. (That code also works on everything else in the 3DR store except for GoPro cameras and SiteScan)

Finally, if you're a developer you'll love the new DroneKit Python 2.0, which works with Solo or any other APM-based copter. Previously, Solo was running Dronekit 1.0, but it's now native 2.0 so can run any Dronekit Python apps right out of the box. And it's now officially part of the open source Dronecode software stack!

From the announcement:

Join us in welcoming yet another new weekly Solo® app release into the world!

This update unlocks “burst mode” on your GoPro® HERO® 4 and HERO 3+ Black cameras — the mode is accessible from the Solo app while you’re flying — and it also enhances the range and clarity of your FPV.

There’s also a new developer update! DroneKit Python 2.0 now makes it easier to develop for Solo. You don’t have to be a hard-core drone developer to tinker with Solo software; hobbyists and other interested people can get involved, even create third-party consumer software in the future. Learn more about DroneKit Python at the bottom of this post.

This new release is available now for download on both iOS and Android. Note that the app update does not require a Solo update. (***We also highly recommend turning on “auto-update” so your Solo app will pull these new releases automatically.***)


A still photo feature for GoPro. In “Burst Mode,” your GoPro HERO 4 can shoot up to 30 stills in one second (default). You can change both the number of photos (30, 10, 5, 3) and the length of time it takes to shoot them. For instance, shoot 30 photos in the span of one second, two seconds, three seconds or six seconds (5-photo and 3-photo bursts only available for a one-second lapse).

Burst is great for shooting action and fast-moving subjects. First, the number of shots and the fast shutter speed mean you can choose the best shot(s) from an array, where with a fast-moving subject it would be very difficult to capture a single perfect photo manually. Additionally you can use the whole series to illustrate a motion sequence.

Burst is particularly interesting for Solo. It’s not just your subject that moves — Solo moves as well. With burst, you can not only capture a subject’s motion sequence, but you can move Solo as you’re shooting a burst of photos, for some very cool dual perspective shifts and even parallax in a sequence of stills.

Challenge: Use burst while panning or yawing Solo to add an extra dynamic to the narrative of your subject’s motion.

Access burst mode in the GoPro settings menu of the Solo app.

Burst specs:

  • 30 photos/1 second (Default), 30 photos/2 seconds, 30 photos/3 seconds, 30 photos/6 seconds1
  • 10 photos/1 second, 10 photos/2 seconds, 10 photos/3 seconds
  • 5 photos/1 second
  • 3 photos/1 second


DroneKit-Python is an SDK for developers to create Python apps that communicate with vehicles over MAVLink. It provides developers with programming access to a vehicle’s telemetry, access to status information, along with enabling both mission management and direct control over vehicle movement and operations.

The SDK is designed for use in onboard companion computers, supporting advanced use cases like high-level path planning, computer vision, 3D modelling and more. You can also use this SDK to control drones from desktop computers and ground station apps, communicating easily over a higher-latency RF link.

Version 2 is essentially a ground-up rewrite, taking into consideration the major pain points from our library while developing for Solo: performance, ease of use, ease of development, extensibility and testing. DroneKit-Python 2.0 is designed to make the on-vehicle development process easier, more efficient and more robust all around. It now supports development on all copters.


  • Quick to get started: shortest example is just 3 lines of code
  • Embeddable as a Python library into any application
  • Multi-vehicle support in a single application
  • Create vehicle subclasses and add support for new MAVLink messages
  • Simplified state synchronization calls
  • Clean and comprehensive documentation and guides
  • Easy to debug and test with Software in the Loop
  • Extensive cross-platform tests (Windows, OS X, 

  • Forums:
  • IM:
  • and Linux)


Views: 2039

Comment by Michael Doornbos on March 14, 2016 at 2:29pm

Glad to see this redesign of DroneKit. Makes me feel better about using it in production knowing that there's still active support and development.

Comment by Jeremy Randle on March 14, 2016 at 5:14pm

Hi Chris,

In Australia we can't buy the SOLO vehicle directly from 3DR so we can't use the "DIYD20OFF" discount code to get the "SOLO and Gimbal for $799" as per the e-mail we were all sent. Is there another way the loyal DIY Drones members in Australia can be given a similar discount ?


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 14, 2016 at 5:18pm

Jeremy: Yes. From Justin: "For all the Australians out there. We will now also accept the code "DIYD20OFF" for 20% off all 3DR Solo's and Solo Accessories on our website . The same conditions - Valid until 31st of March. Limit of one use per customer. Stock is very low at the moment but more is expected to arrive soon."

Comment by Jeremy Randle on March 14, 2016 at 5:35pm

Hi Chris and Justin,

Great news for all the Aussies out there. Thank you.


Comment by HyperGuy on March 14, 2016 at 7:17pm

Nice 1 thanks!!

Comment by Sigitas Ciapas on March 15, 2016 at 1:05am

Is the Throw mode planned? :)

Comment by Charlie on March 15, 2016 at 2:22am

Is there anywhere in the UK the discounted price is available? cheapest I can find is still around £800 ($1150 ish) with no gimbal. Tried to order direct from the 3dr website but it won't accept my address for some reason. In any case if ordered from the states the 20% discount will be more than compensated for by the 20% VAT etc. that will be imposed - any UK suppliers that can come close to the 3DR prices?

Comment by Emanuel Pop on March 15, 2016 at 4:01am

The UK/Europe situation is of high interest considering that the US website does not allow us to order here...

Comment by Mario on March 15, 2016 at 5:57am

Good news... I would really like to see dronekit 2.0 documentation updated. The main issue is with pc companion doc which link to ardupilot wiki where info is seriously outdated and not applicable/working anymore. Edison wiki is still related to dronekit 1.0

Comment by Trond Hindenes on March 15, 2016 at 12:58pm

I'm not sure I understand the dronekit 2.0 announcement. I've already been running 2.x versions for a good while.


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