Tag Archives: Dronecode

UAV174 Drone Industry Consolidation

UAS industry consolidation, open source drone projects, and the Dutch Drone Awards.

 C4D Intel

C4D Intel


Flir buys UAS firm Prox Dynamics following Point Grey acquisition

Flir Systems has acquired Oslo Norway-based Prox Dynamics for $134 million in cash. Prox Dynamics is a developer of nano-class unmanned aerial systems, with a “core mission to develop, produce and sell the world’s smallest and most advanced Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS)” for “the modern warfighter.”

Australian UAV Mapping Consolidation

C4D Intel has acquired Airbotix. Both are Perth-based. Privately-owned C4D Intel specializes in asset inspection, mapping, and data analysis. Airbotix provides autonomous systems to clients applications such as inspection and testing, geospatial survey, scientific research and situational awareness.

4 open source drone projects

Most consumer drones use proprietary software and hardware. But there are open source options:

  • Paparazzi UAV is an open-source drone hardware and software project. It includes autopilot systems and ground station software for multicopters/multirotors, fixed-wing, helicopters, and hybrid aircraft. The system was designed with autonomous flight as the primary focus.
  • The Linux Foundation-sponsored Dronecode project is building a common open source platform for UAV development. The project recently split with several Dronecode companies with developers forming a new project called PX4. an independent, open-source, open-hardware project providing the standard high-end autopilot to the industrial, academic and enthusiast communities.
  • OpenDroneMap processes aerial imagery into point clouds, digital surface, and elevation models. It can also orthorectify imagery for further analysis. See the project wiki for more information.
  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications has a Drone Journalism Lab that seeks to educate journalists about the legal and ethical use of drones. Their 23-page operations manual is open sourced and free to download. Sections in the manual include Ethics and Privacy, General Operating Procedures, Pre-Flight, Flight, Post-Flight, and Logging. It also contains a number of Normal Operating Checklists and Emergency Procedures.

Videos of the Week

The winners of the Dutch Drone Awards 2016 have been announced. Coen Swijnenberg earned a Drone Award for his video of Sri Lanka. As the winner of the Aerial Photography category, he also gets to enjoy a 250 euro gift card from Droneshop.nl, and a permanent place in the Dutch aerial movie makers hall of fame.

Sri Lanka 2016

Tim van Vliet won the award in the Racing category with a high-speed drone video shot above the colorful Dutch tulip fields.

Tulipe Colormadness

Find more at the annual Dutch Drone Awards website.




UAV130 UAS Research and Development

FleyeOpen source UAV software, safety with a soccer ball sized drone, a drone landing on a moving vehicle, combining rotors and wings for overall efficiency, the FAA blocks sUAS registration site outside the U.S., and UAS rules for public safety organizations.


Dronecode Project Advances Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Commercial Applications

In its first year, the Dronecode Project has formed three technical working groups and grown to include 50 members. This collaborative effort brings open source UAV projects together under a non-profit structure governed by The Linux Foundation.

DronecodeBoard chairman Chris Anderson says, “By bringing efforts together to establish a common platform and utilizing open source best practices, we’re able to build the foundation for a new era of drone applications that extend from the camera to the cloud.  The Dronecode ‘full-stack’ platform approach, combined with the hardware and software innovations of its members, will bring about a new generation of drones that are autonomous, aware of their environments, and continuously connected — an airborne Internet of Things.”

The three Dronecode working groups are the:

  • MAVlink Camera Working Group, which assists camera manufacturers in implementing the MAVlink protocol in cameras.
  • Airspace Working Group, which establishes common data types, units, and formats that all airspace providers can use to transmit and receive.
  • Hardware Working Group, which will establish mechanical and electrical standards for interfaces to the UAV autopilot and its peripherals.

Safer Drone Is The Future Of Tech Design

The Fleye is a small drone that solves the safety problem caused by spinning rotors. With the enclosed, ducted fan design, all the moving parts are inside a spherical shape the size and weight of a soccer ball. The developers say it’s easy to fly and can even fly autonomously. This was a Kickstarter project that successfully raised €314,080 with 717 backers.

Fleye – Your Personal Flying Robot

Drones can now land on moving cars

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center have successfully landed a 20kg fixed-wing UAV on a moving car traveling at 75 kilometers per hour (about 47 mph). The top of the vehicle has optical markers that the UAV uses for tracking. The UAV matches speed and lands on a 4 x 5 meter platform net.

German Aerospace Center test

Credit: German Aerospace Center

Belgian drone mixes plane and quadcopter technology

A team at the University of Leuven in Belgium have developed a UAV that lifts off vertically via four propellers, rotates 45 degrees, and transitions to horizontal flight with lift coming from the wings. Under conventional flight with lift from wings, less power is required for flight, and the VertiKUL 2 has the advantage of speed and flight duration.

In tests, the VertiKUL has been able to travel for up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), with a cargo payload of up to one kilogram (2.2 lb). Lead researcher Bart Theys says, “We made a combination that uses the flight efficiency of an airplane and combines this with the vertical take-off and landing of a quadcopter or a helicopter. So we added wings and aerodynamically shaped profile to a quadcopter to make it fly fast and far.”


Several listeners noted that the FAA sUAS registration webpage is blocked outside the United States. That makes it difficult for tourists and drone racing competitors to register before entering the country.

FAA error message

Tim Trott points to 3 Things Public Safety Officials Should Know About Drones by Jonathan Rupprecht, in sUAS News, and observes that the relationship between standards met and operating restrictions are inverted.