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Qualcomm, Intel Back Drones Code Project

Ray Le Maistre

I'm in Düsseldorf at the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress, where much of the chat is centering around the role of open source software in the SDN and NFV sector. (See Setting the SDN Agenda.)

Now the open source revolution is everywhere, right? Including, soon, up above the clouds. Because -- and the timing is almost scary -- just as Light Reading announced the imminent arrival of Light Droning (www.lightdroning.com), a new online community all about drone comms, and the DroneComm 2015 conference we're holding in San Diego next February, the Linux Foundation announced the Dronecode project, which aims to "bring together existing open source drone projects and assets… [to develop] a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)." (See Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet and Facebook, Google in New Drone Race.)

Among the founding members of the project are Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), highlighting the potential of drones to play a key role in the future of communications and the Internet of Things (IoT).

"The scale and pace of mobile technology development is having a growing impact on many technology areas, drones are no exception," stated Matt Grob, CTO at Qualcomm Technologies in the project's press release. "The possibilities around drone technology are exciting and Qualcomm has found success in and supports community driven platforms as a way to accelerate innovation in pioneering areas such as drones, robotics and IoT."

For more on the Dronecode Project, see this press release.

In the meantime, the role of open source projects, and the ways in which the telecom community will generate revenues from open source developments, is making for one of the most interesting discussions points here this week as operators and vendors figure out how their futures will be affected by the likes of OpenDaylight . (See OpenDaylight Releases Major 'Helium' Upgrade.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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10/16/2014 | 9:15:28 AM
Re: Standards
The speed of drone popularity will to a large extent depend on the FAA writing the rules. They so far have seemed to be slow to the party. Maybe, it's because the militiary wants to be the exclusive operators for the time being? The FAA has granted waivers for a few operation so far, mostly research studies in remote areas that won't pose a threat to public safety or air traffic.
10/15/2014 | 8:39:41 PM
For drones to hit critical mass, there is going to need to be standards. I get that right now drones are a hobbyist exercise for the most part – but that is going to change and there will be a big commercial sector. 

The military is pushing the envelope for drones, but they aren't going to be willing to share their technology. This open source effort will, and I appluad that. 
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