The 2023 Dronecode Foundation Report

Open-Source Advancements in Drone Technology: A Report on Dronecode Foundation’s Contributions and Community Growth
In the rapidly evolving world of drone technology, the Dronecode Foundation is a center of innovation and collaboration. Through its commitment to open-source software, the foundation is driving advancements in aerial robotics, a term that has become synonymous with drones, reflecting their growing capabilities and the blending of robotics communities. Ramón Roche, General Manager of the Dronecode Foundation, says, “In 2023, we started seeing our members and contributors using the term ‘aerial robotics’ to define drones. That’s kind of perfect since we have reached a point of ecosystem maturity that the next phase of development will focus heavily on integration with all autonomous systems. They’re all robots at the end of the day, and this year made that official. We saw a true merging of the robotics communities this year, both online and in person, and we expect to see resulting technologies that were unimaginable a decade ago when we first started Dronecode. Autonomy is about to hit critical mass.”
The foundation’s flagship project, PX4 Autopilot, had an active year with over a hundred community meetings and significant releases that enhanced hardware support and introduced new features like Dynamic Control Allocation and upgraded ROS 2 bridge. Meanwhile, the Pixhawk project published the DS-012 Open Standard, fostering an ecosystem for drone development and system integration. The QGroundControl and MAVSDK projects also saw notable improvements, with the latter celebrating contributions from 29 global contributors in its latest release.

Dronecode’s commitment to open-source innovation is demonstrated by impressive contribution metrics from the past year. The PX4 project alone welcomed over 1,000 new contributors, highlighting the vibrant community supporting open drone technologies. Auterion, a leading organization in the ecosystem, contributed 51% of the total code, underscoring the collaborative effort behind these advancements.
Three pivotal statistics from the report underscore the significant impact of Dronecode’s work:

The PX4 Autopilot project hosted over a hundred community meetings in 2023, marking a year of unprecedented activity.
The release of MAVSDK v2.0, which was enhanced by contributions from 29 global contributors, demonstrates the wide-reaching collaboration within the Dronecode community.
Over 1,000 new contributors joined the PX4 ecosystem in 2023, reinforcing the foundation’s role in fostering a dynamic and inclusive environment for innovation.

The Dronecode Foundation’s endeavors in open-source software not only fuel technological advancements in the drone industry but also create a collaborative space that bridges communities and encourages the integration of autonomous systems. See the full report here.

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