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Dronecode: July Newsletter 2017

By July 10, 2017February 24th, 2019Announcements

 an update from Dronecode

July Newsletter

Dear Dronecode Members,Over the last month we’ve continued to update PX4 v1.6, prepare for the release of QGroundControl 3.2, and update our documentation. The Working Groups have also made good progress in a number of areas.

Read on to find out more!


Platform Releases.

QGroundControl is preparing to release the new version (v3.2) in the coming month! This will include support for using many of the new features in PX4 1.6, which you can presently only use in daily builds.

PX4 v1.6 was released last month. We’ve continued to fix bugs and make spot releases (we’re now up to PX4 1.6.3)


Documentation updates.

Since our last newsletter we’ve added high level sidebar links between all our documentation libraries so, for example, it is much easier to find QGroundControl documentation when you’re in the PX4 User Guide (see the documentation update blog!)

We’ve also made some other significant additions, including:

Working group updates.

UX Working Group
Last month the UX WG started classifying members according to clusters (in order to guide the evolution of our platform roadmap):

  • Our initial classification document is here. This is a work in progress, but we would love your feedback (please comment within the document).
  • The UX WG created a survey to help understand what Dronecode members and the community are looking for from the project. The survey closed Friday, June 30. Results are being analyzed and will be presented next UXWG meeting in the end of July.
  • The WG is also looking at​ adding Google Analytics for the website and integrating with the PX4 analytics
  • We also intend to present a proposal for DC and projects branding.

Camera API Working Group

SDK Working Group

  • The SDK WG is loo​king at a Cloud SDK and an on device SDK for building applications that run on the target device or on a mobile device.
  • The ​WG wiki is now updated at, and includes the first step of a comparative evaluation of our requirements and options.

Messaging Working Group

  • Collaboration between eProsima and Dronecode member companies, and PX4 community is working well
  • The UART bridge and UDP bridge are working so PX4 ORB topics can now be shared with external processes:
    • If PX4 is running on Linux, then the UDP bridge can be used to advertise topics via RTPS
    • If PX4 is running on a separate flight controller, the companion computer can get ORB topics over USB that are advertised via RTPS
  • 1st release of code scheduled for July 13, 2017
  • Code is at:

Safety Working Group

  • Dronecode has been asked to join the FAA’s Greetings UAS Safety Team and has accepted
  • Progress continues on an Intel BVLOS application using Dronecode with Airmap extensions

Code Quality Working Group

  • Lots of progress on improving the quality of the code via tools and scanning
  • New investigations into ways to improve code and reduce unit mismatch errors such as
  • Current goals of the Cod​e Quality WG are:
    • Get improved code coverage in real missions
    • Add ROS tests
    • Add comprehensive tests that can be run for each PR but that are not merge gating
    • HIL
      • Mission tests should also work in HIL (may need restructuring)
    • Improve awareness of the testing already being done
    • Add summary page to tests being uploaded
    • Measure test coverage of the code base
      • Consider code restructuring to provide more clarity about what code is in a particular build and the level of coverage of that code​



This month two new point release were made to the new PX4 v1.6 release. The project pulse shows we’ve merged 49 PRs (+4) and closed 57 issues (-170). More than 5110 lines were added and 2431 deleted.


Flight Testing.

Flight Testing Stats (Jun 07 – Jul 04)

We built a QAV250 with Snapdragon board and PWM based ESC’s


Dronecode Platform in the Real World.

The following posts from the PX4 blog show new Dronecode Platform builds, features and uses.

That’s it for this month’s update. Next month we’re looking forward to more information about the Dronecode platform roadmap.

Hamish Willee

Author Hamish Willee

Hamish is the Dronecode Technical Content expert! You can find out more about him here:

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