UAS industry consolidation, open source drone projects, and the Dutch Drone Awards.
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.”
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.
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.
Find more at the annual Dutch Drone Awards website.