OpenSolo Initiative – by the ArduPilot Team

The ArduPilot project is pleased to announce the creation of a new initiative, “Open Solo”. This work is made possible by 3DR’s recent release of the SoloLink codebase to the Open Source community, and by the ever-ongoing work by the ArduPilot and Solo communities behind the scenes. 3DR’s press release is here: https://3dr.com/blog/announcing-opensolo

The benefits to existing Solo users are many; the community is now free to maintain and improve upon an established codebase containing many innovative technologies, and developers will be able to “hack” or improve nearly every part of their Solo from now on, including the Controller! The Open Source community in general will also benefit from more generally applicable technologies such as SmartShots and the Artoo controller.

Background

The OpenSolo github repository (http://github.com/OpenSolo) contains fresh git repositories based on the source code released by 3DR. We’ve made some initial commits into these repositories that are sufficient so that we’ve got the released source code to build binaries for us.

How we are running things?

OpenSolo is a completely volunteer-run community that’s currently being shepherded by the ArduPilot Developer Team during these early stages. The ArduPilot Developer Team have Gitter channels and Mumble meetings like many open-source communities. If you’re not already involved, we’d love you to join us, and if you are, thanks! http://ardupilot.org/copter/docs/common-contact-us.html 
http://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/ardupilot-mumble-server.html

We also love that the Solo community (especially on FaceBook) itself has a great collection of engineers/devs/beta/users, and we acknowledge there has been a lot of work behind the scenes by the Solo community in getting us to this point. This source code is free because of your actions, and we would welcome all of you to take the next step and hack on these OpenSolo repositories with us.

Here are some links if you don’t already know who we’re talking about:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3DRSOLOModClub
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3DRSOLO
https://www.facebook.com/groups/pixhawk2

Shape

As an open-source community, we are in the very early days with OpenSolo., We have only had access to the codebase for around a week, but there are a lot of goodies here, and a huge opportunity for those of you with Solo’s who are also software developers to get involved in making Solo awesome! For everyone else, we’ll be hoping to get your Solos flying on this new-improved codebase as soon as we can!

Documentation / Developer Quick Start Guide: –
http://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/solo-opensolo-quickstart.html

What’s Missing / Future

  • 3DR have indicated they are willing to release what they can of the gimbal source code.
  • 3DR have also indicated they are not opposed to the idea of releasing what they can of the Android/iOS phone Apps, but are not yet ready to guarantee this.
  • Improvements to documentation on how to understand, modify and build the code.
  • Fly Solo on this code! While Solos have been flashed with the build products, an initial test flight has not yet been done.
  • lots of future enhancements, such as mavlink2 support, ongoing support for the “Green
  • Cube” Solo mod, new smartshots, merging APSync with Solo.
  • we hope to allow a nice simple upgrade path from traditional Solo to the current latest OpenSolo+ArduPilot, that shouldn’t involve hassle for the user/s.
  • Solo’s built-in companion computer can support advanced features like ROS and has build-in wifi and video, so is a great starting point for researchers and others in need of a flying computer.
  • merging some of the customised forks from 3dr back into mainstream ( dronekit, mavproxy, ?)