ArduPilot's motto: Versatile, Trusted, Open


At the Canberra unconference a couple of months ago we had a lot of fun flying and driving things about and discussing our latest developments and the RoadMap. We also came up with a new motto for ArduPilot which we hope describes our goals as well as can be done in a few words: Versatile, Trusted, Open.

The short description of this is:

Versatile: supports a wide variety of flight controllers, sensors, frames with an impressive number of features
Trusted: reliable and predictable.
Open: both in terms of the software but also in terms of the team’s governance and decision making

The longer version is…

Versatile: ArduPilot aims to enable autonomous behaviour in any unmanned vehicle, in any environment. ArduPilot achieves this by:

  • Documenting the current compatible controller hardware, vehicle types, and environmental domains that ArduPilot supports and endorses
  • Assisting new hardware, novel or different vehicle types, and environmental domains to be added to the ArduPilot codebase
  • Actively pursuing the limits of technology.

Trusted: ArduPilot is the most open, most tested, most robust system available for unmanned autonomous vehicles. ArduPilot maintains this by:

  • Employing test and validation regimes for all released software, with test processes and results publicly available
  • Working with manufacturing Partners to assure appropriate quality of hardware
  • Engaging with relevant external agencies, in order to understand and shape requirements and expectations for autonomous systems

Open: ArduPilot supports the development and evolution of open source autonomous technologies, and technologies that support autonomy. ArduPilot achieves this by:

  • Providing publicly available source code
  • Providing detailed documentation for developers
  • Working with academia, industry and hobbyists to grow good ideas
  • Actively assisting new contributors
  • Providing supported, integrated interfaces into associated hardware and software systems

Like any software or team, things are not always perfect but the above expresses our goals at least.


Thanks for the update @rmackay9! I’m very excited about this roadmap! Having an option to run Lua scripts would be very powerful feature, can’t wait to try it out!

Do you have any estimates on when ArduCopter 3.6 will be released?

In the future of ArduPilot I would love to see (and maybe even take part in development!) continued support for SITL (especially with ROS/Gazebo). I suspect current docs on that might be outdated, I would love to spend some time with it and help bring them up to date.


Thanks for the positive feedback!

Re the Copter-3.6 release, it is a bit hard to predict when it will become the default version because it depends upon us going through a couple of weeks with no significant issues including no unexplained crashes. Normally the process takes 2 ~ 3 months but let’s see.

We greatly appreciate any help especially on the ROS integration. I think our support for ROS will greatly improve over the summer with the google summer of code students and also some recent enhancements to our EKF and syncronisation of times across the flight controller, GCS and (optional) companion computer.