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ArduPilot and DroneCode

For the attention of the users, supporters, fans and corporate users of ArduPilot:

The ArduPilot project is going through a transition. We will no longer be associated with DroneCode and instead will be focused directly on the needs of our users, contributors and partners.

We had high hopes for DroneCode as a collaborative project. DroneCode was born out of the ArduPilot project and we led the technical collaboration since its inception nearly two years ago. As part of that collaboration we welcomed and nurtured close ties with the PX4 project and worked closely with a number of corporate partners.

Unfortunately DroneCode has a built-in flaw. The structure and bylaws of DroneCode are built around exceptional power for the Platinum members, giving them extraordinary control over the future of DroneCode. This is a fundamental flaw in a project meant to promote free and open source software as it means that the business interests of a very small number of members can override the interests of the rest of the members and the community.

Just how great a flaw that is has been shown by the actions of the Platinum members over the last two months. Due to their overwhelming desire to be able to make a proprietary autopilot stack the Platinum members staged what can only be called a coup. They removed all top level open source projects from DroneCode, leaving only their own nominees in the Technical Steering Committee. They passed a resolution requiring that all projects hand over control of all trademarks, accounts and domains to their control.

The PX4 project leadership decided to accept this, and will be handing over control of the PX4 project in order to remain in DroneCode. The ArduPilot project won’t be doing this, as we firmly believe that community directed development is the best way to create a long-term sustainable free software autopilot stack. That means we are not willing to hand control of our domains, trademarks and development accounts to DroneCode, and by extension to the Platinum members. We believe that giving the Platinum members that degree of control over the future of ArduPilot would be irresponsible. ArduPilot is a community project, and its future direction must be set by the community.

We did not want this outcome, and neither did the Silver members (represented by all 3 elected Dronecode board members). We wanted to continue to collaborate, but the actions of the Platinum members and the choice made by the PX4 project means that DroneCode is no longer a place where community directed collaboration is welcome.

There is one aspect of DroneCode which we will miss. It offered a forum where we could work with the many companies that use ArduPilot to help their businesses make the most of ArduPilot.

To allow us to continue to have that relationship and improve upon the flawed DroneCode model we have made the decision to accept partners to the ArduPilot project. These partners will have their logo displayed on our new homepage (unveiled today; visit us at and we will work closely with them to build a strong relationship for the benefit of both their businesses and the ArduPilot project.

We will have a monthly meeting between the ArduPilot development team and partners where we will discuss the future direction of ArduPilot and work together on issues that are important to our partners.

More information on becoming an ArduPilot partner is available here:

We also welcome individual contributions, with donations welcome from all users. The most important contributions, however, are those made by the hundreds of people in our vibrant community who have contributed code, documentation, code reviews and support for our users.

The ArduPilot development team would like to thank all our users, contributors and partners for their support, and we look forward to continuing the development of the autopilot that this community loves.

The ArduPilot Dev Team


To show my appreciation & support I donated to ardupilot for the first time today. The contribition is microscopic to what the platinum members injected in dronecode but the motivation is totaly in the opposite direction: I want to be free; free to chose the direction where the code is going to; free to use any hardware from any company and free to talk with my fellow experimenters.
Keep on the good work, and long live ardupilot


Attempting to donate but there seems to be an issue with the donation button.

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The button in the wiki is working:

We will look at fixing the issue in the website.

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Can I just say thank you to the ardupilot team for this decision.I wholeheartedly approve.I shall donate in a small way to support this brave action.

@Ardupilot team. Congrats. It’s easier to work without shackles.

I absolutely applaud and salute ArudPilot on this decison. It is entirely the right thing to do. Dronecode have acted despicably in their actions and no doubt that history will record that as a monumental mistake on their part. But greed is what greed does.

I will donate to ArduPilot and encourage everyone else to do likewise. I have benefitted from ArduPilot over the few years that I have been using the software in my multi-rotor aircraft.

All kudos to Randy, Tridge and the other ArduPilot developers.



@Ardupilot I see that the Paypal donation has a ‘regular payment’ option. We’ve used that to setup a regular contribution to the project. Hoping to contribute with the development efforts soon.

Best regards


The AdaPilot Initiative would like to give full hardware compatibility for future ArduPilot developments, beginning with the AdaRacer-FCS board:

Best Regards,


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I just made a donation myself. Is it possible to have levels of corporate donations?

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@davidbitton We took the decision to not do it, at least for now. The reasoning behind is what happened in Dronecode: despite most of the more than 50 members used ArduPilot, it took five votes to take this decision.
What would you expect from different levels?

@relaxibus We always welcome new boards, feel free to open a PR with support for it!

@OXINARF What is a PR?
The new board is the “AdaRacer-FCS - The AdaPilot Hardware Reference Development Platform”

@relaxibus Sorry, pull request. Are you looking for someone to port ArduPilot to your board? I think we should take this conversation to Gitter (

EDIT: I should have read the website first. It says it is already compatible with ArduPilot. That’s good, I wasn’t aware of that board.

Thanks guys!
I appreciate all work that has gone into ArduPilot by so many good people and donated again (a bigger amount I could afford).

I will continue to do so and encourage all others to spend something. The team and community is staying strong behind our lovely ArduPilot system and team for sure.


I wanna say a big thank you to the effort made by ArduPilot community, and I wish PX4 project could have chosen the same way.

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Too bad resources have to be split like this. I certainly understand and will do what we can to help support Ardupilot efforts going forward - with both financial and technology contributions. I am hopeful that we will be in that position by years end. Thanks to all of you who have contributed your expertise and money toward the development efforts over the years.

What comes to my mind is the phrase " stick to your guns " . That’s American for fight for what you believe in. Good job

So what does this mean for support of code and devices.

Will ardupilot not support px4? What hardware platform will you continue to support? Will px4 drop support for your code? Is 3dr no longer supporting (funding) this project?

I guess the question is, what does the future look like?

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I hope is not only usefull donating, it’s important too to promote this things to animate others to donate or help too, I know users that don’t read english, don’t follow forums and still think that 3DR is supporting the proyect; like that owr donation is multiply and don’t feel that looks so little money for so big work, THAAANNNKS GUYS!!!

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