The Dronecode community came together to celebrate another successful year at the PX4 Developer Summit in New Orleans on October 21-22. Hosted next to ROSCon 2023 with the generous help of the Open Source Robotics Foundation we secured space at the Hyatt Regency. Together, we managed to bring close to a thousand robotics engineers to the Big Easy. ❤️ Thanks OSRF!
We also want to thank the fantastic Linux Foundation Events team for running another flawless event and taking care of every small detail to ensure everyone felt included and part of the celebration. Similarly, I (Ramón) want to thank the Dronecode Staff who helped me run this event, once again pushing the boundaries with very few resources. Lastly, we want to thank our Sponsors for their commitment to open source and for believing in our humble community of aerial robotics professionals.
Over the two days at the summit, attendees enjoyed 45 talks, including 27 breakout sessions, 11 keynotes, five lightning talks, and two incredible workshops, thanks to the support of 54 speakers. Like last year, the Call For Proposals had tremendous success, receiving more than 50 applications, which the Program Committee reviewed and voted on, accepting 34. Thanks to the increased quality of the proposals received this year, we had the most challenging time putting together the program. Given time constraints, we couldn’t fit all the proposals that came through the CFP into the schedule. However, we are proud of the results as the program reflected the maturity of our community and signaled a bright future for the technology.
The summit was kicked-off with the opening remarks by our General Manager (Ramón Roche) who then introduced the keynote track. He was followed immediately by Hrishikesh Ballal Co-Founder and Lead Developer, Openskies Aerial Technology, who discussed the importance of UTM and regulation will have for opening up advanced UAV operations including BVLOS.
This rest year’s keynotes focused on fostering greater collaboration between the general and aerial robotics engineers, and highlighted the amazing work of the leaders in the open source drone development community.
Dr. Satya Mallick, CEO of OpenCV, Davide Faconti, Robotics Architect and Staff Engineer at PickNik Robotics, Chris Lalancette, ROS 2 Technical Lead, Intrinsic, and a Developer Panel with PX4 and ROS maintainers Daniel Agar, Thomas Statsny, Tully Foote, and Geoff Biggs all talked about the importance of building bridges between our communities and provided clear paths forward to build a roadmap together.
Dr. Lorenz Meier, CEO and Founder of Auterion, Inc., Robert Cheek, Chief Operating Officer, UVify, Vince Poon, CTO, Holybro, and Chad Sweet CEO and Co-founder, ModalAI, showcased the landmark work and important developments that will lay the groundwork for the next phase of drone development.
Thanks to the Scholarships program, which provides funding for underrepresented groups in our community and those who couldn’t attend otherwise, Dronecode was able to help six members of our community with travel and tickets to the summit. We were thrilled to see the group come together, a set of brilliant engineers who will undoubtedly shape the future of the robotics industry.
At the end of Day 1, our Platinum sponsor UVify hosted a 500 drone light show above the Mississippi River, greeting us with a fantastic display full of surprises with familiar shapes that our community cheered and celebrated, marking a tremendous high point to an already remarkable beginning to our event.
Special thanks to CubePilot for sponsoring our event t-shirts designed by criobravo, outfitting our attendees with a jazzy piece of art befitting of New Orleans. We’d also like to thank ARK Electronics for sponsoring the session recordings, which we are releasing on our YouTube channel.
It’s hard to overstate just how amazing the networking at the event was this year. Participants from over 30 countries came together to share knowledge and make connections. Careers got off the ground and new business relationships were forged. The event truly felt like a bridge between academia and industry. Special thanks to UVify and Rajant who sponsored the official after party at Fulton Alley. It was the perfect end to the weekend and a great final chance to hang before all heading off.
By the way, don’t miss out on all the photos taken during the event. Thanks for everything. We hope to see you next year!