The downfall of one of the most promising drone companies in the world, 3D Robotics, was the result of mismanagement, bad advice, and a weak strategy that relied too heavily on various flagship drones, according to Forbes. But now, 3DR is back—and everybody loves a comeback story, right? This new form, however, has taken a different shape. Let's take a look.
Essentially, 3DR has released its SoloLink codebase to the world, for free. By making this vast ocean of resources readily available to the open source community, 3DR has opened up a whole new world of opportunities. This is where the ArduPilot team comes in. This recent, generous venture, called the 'OpenSolo Initiative', was announced in a press release by 3DR this Tuesday. It lists all the tools that hackers and engineers will be able to use and improve the software with.
In the most basic terms, users will now be able to build upon a really solid foundation of code, and can modify their hearts out to refine and perfect every aspect they deem requires attention (including the controller). Here's what the press release lists is available on OpenSolo's GitHub page of resources:
"solo-builder – scripts for configuring a virtual machine to build the Solo software
meta-3dr – the build recipes that assemble the complete Linux system for the Solo and Controller i.MX6 processors.
shotmanager – implementation of Solo’s Smart Shots.
sololink – 3DR software that runs on the i.MX6 processors, implementing things like video streaming, control, telemetry, pairing, logging, etc.
artoo – firmware for the STM32 microcontroller in the controller responsible for the inputs and screen.
solo-gimbal (coming soon) – firmware for the microcontrollers in the Solo Gimbal"
According to sUASnews, OpenSolo is an entirely volunteer-driven team of capable fans and enthusiasts. The ArduPilot Developer Team is leading the charge right now, but they're very much appreciative and grateful for all those who choose to help build new opportunities. If you're one of those people, feel free to join the team's Glitter Channel or Mumble server meetings.
Head on over to the OpenSolo Mod Club Facebook page, too, in case you're curious. They've got thousands of members already, but the beauty of open source projects is that everybody matters, and a solution to a problem could come from anywhere—people appreciate that.