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Dronecode Newsletter: September 2017

By September 13, 2017September 19th, 2017Announcements

September Newsletter.

Dear Dronecode Members,

Reminder: Dronecode will be presenting at InterDrone on September 7th.

Read below to find all the news!


Lorenz Meier honored to be included in MIT Technology Review’s 2017 Innovators Under 35 List.

Lorenz Meier, the creator of the Dronecode flight stack (PX4), has been recognized by Technology Review as a 2017 Inventor for his work. Past honorees include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple.

This is fantastic recognition for Lorenz, who was quick to point out that PX4 is a huge community effort:

 “It is a fantastic experience going from the small Pixhawk student team in 2008 to a global open source community serving thousands of developers. None of this would have been possible without the support of ETH, Dronecode and our many contributors and partnering open source projects. It is great to see the work of the development community now being available in professional and consumer products.” … Lorenz Meier

Read the full post here.


Major product releases powered by the Dronecode Platform

The Dronecode portfolio is growing fast!.

Yuneec releases the Typhoon H520

Powered by the Dronecode Platform, the H520 Incorporates Multiple Interchangeable Payload Options, DataPilot™Mission Planning Software and All-New YES! Commercial Service Program.

Yuneec’s first product designed for commercial use builds on PX4 v1.6.2 and extends Dronecode’s new DroneCore MAVLink Library to create their own SDK with plugins to integrate external hardware (Camera payloads)

All camera payloads are interchangeable and hot-swap capable, offering time-saving convenience for the commercial operator.

  • E90, The E90 is a wide-angle, high-resolution camera for applications that require high-quality photos and video as it utilizes a 20-megapixel one-inch Sony Exmor sensor and the latest Ambarella H2 high-speed image-processing chip
  • E50, The E50 camera is a medium focal length, high-resolution camera perfectly suited for use in inspections and for broadcast
  • CGOET, The CGOET dual thermal-RGB camera is specifically designed for public safety, search and rescue, and solar inspection applications and is the industry’s first combined thermal and residual light camera with the integrated gimbal.

The H520 is available in a variety of configurations with prices ranging from $1,999 to $4,699. For more information on the H520, E90/E50/CGOET camera payloads, DataPilotTM, SDK platform and YES! Commercial service program, visit

Sensirion SDP3x Airspeed Sensors improve Dronecode Platform VTOL

Sensirion has integrated a revolutionary new airspeed sensor into PX4. The highly sensitive SDP3x-series does not require recalibration on launch, allowing you to get your VTOL aircraft into the air faster and transition to fixed-wing mode more safely

Vertical Technologies DeltaQuad VTOL running PX4

An innovative series of autonomous VTOL UAVs for the professional market, which uses PX4 for the autopilot and created by members of the PX4 dev team!

Visit Vertical Technologies.



We’re going to Interdrone

Dronecode’s Lorenz Meier and Ramon Roche will be speaking at Interdrone about how to create end-to-end solutions using the Dronecode Platform. They’ll be covering the platform, PX4, and the tools that surround our ecosystem.

The talk is on Thursday, September 7th at 1:30pm, and is open to everyone attending the conference.
Note that the speakers will be available to meet our community and discuss how we can best work together.



About InterDrone.

After an impressive show last year (3,518 delegates from 54 nations and rave reviews) InterDrone returns to Las Vegas Sept. 6-8 in a premier location.  It will feature 125+ sessions for engineers, software developers, executives, investors, regulators and commercial drone “buyers and flyers” in more than a dozen vertical market segments. Three distinct tracks define the event in 2017:  Drone TechCon for builders; Drone Enterprise for those using drones for commercial activities; and Drone Cinema where image quality and range are paramount. 4,000+ attendees from 6 continents and 180+ exhibitors.

Still not sure if attending?, Here’s a $100.00 discount on a 3-day pass.

Receive a $100 discount off the prevailing rate of the 3-day pass by inserting the code FLYIT when prompted at



Documentation updates.

Since our last newsletter, we’ve made many updates and additions to the documentation. A few highlights include:

Working group updates.

Most of the Working Groups are active and lots of progress has been made.  Here is a brief overview.

Camera API Working Group

Lots of active discussion and continued progress toward getting camera capabilities and setting camera parameters, and video stream discovery

SDK Working Group

The SDK WG has made significant progress this month:

  •  The Dronecode core MAVLink library has been named “DroneCore”. The Github repository is here:
  • The team evaluated a number of tools for creating language bindings:
    • SWIG did not provide all the bindings required and had some complexities that would make it hard to implement and maintain.
    • Pybind11 yielded better results but only generates python bindings.
  • The team decided we would focus on adding a gRPC server component that would allow for client libraries to be generated on every possible platform.

Messaging Working Group

  • Support for RTPS was merged into PX4 and is supported on POSIX targets.
  • NuttX targets use a UART bridge that multiplexes the MAVLink messages and the RTPS topics and this is working with Intel Aero and the SITL build.
    Documentation can be found here:
  • The main Messaging WG contributors at eProsima were away on vacation so not a lot of other progress has been made.

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 WG

Progress in Code Quality is being made on several fronts:

  • Rewrite of the Commander module
  • Code coverage using gcov
  • Architectural redesign for modularity, decoupling, and extensibility

UX Working Group

  • The group has suspended activities temporarily while the main participants are occupied with other commitments.


This month the project’s pulse shows we’ve merged 84 73 PRs (+11) and closed 73 issues (+4). 14644 lines were added and 6273 were deleted.


Flight Testing.

These are the flight testing stats since the last newsletter (July 28 –  August 28):


Hamish Willee

Author Hamish Willee

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

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