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Dronecode alliance aims to get more UAVs into the sky

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Now that the FAA has unleashed drones onto film sets, farms and oil rigs (don't hold your breath though, Amazon), the nascent industry may start to boom. Dronecode, a new Linux Foundation Collaborative Project will help that along by giving UAVs common, open-source software underpinnings. The new initiative will use the APM/ArduPilot UAV software platform hosted by 3D Robotics -- the company led by Chris Anderson, who first proposed the idea. Dronecode's founding members include Intel, Qualcomm, 3D Robotics and Baidu.

So far, Dronecode has attracted some 1,200 developers and been adopted by commercial drone manufacturers like PrecisionHawk, Walkera and DroneDeploy. As Linux did for Android, Dronecode could provide new avenues for private and commercial drone development. Along with code and other resources, the initiative has pledged to provide neutral leadership and help bring funding for approved projects. That could stimulate stimulate a UAV market that's expected to be worth nearly $100 billion within a decade. But as Chris Anderson put it, Dronecode will also make life easier for amateurs. "In the early days (of UAVs), even the experts... had to come together to take robots into the air."

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