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Funding New Features -- Need some new idea I think

I love Ardupilot, of course, and stump up a small amount each month.

Given that the software development that I do is not useful for embedded development, I cannot really code much for the project. That said, how do I/we get movement on adding some features that are lagging?

For example, serial camera control with the Runcam protocol and Gopro control.

Can we crowdfund such features? It would be up to the project leaders to organize what could be offered and come up with how much it would cost? I do think a fair number of people would probably be willing to contribute if a mechanism was created. This could also apply to maintaining such features if they needed an overhaul.

In general it would be nice to come up with new models for how Ardupilot can be supported – short of being a commercial operator that can pay for features to be added. It would also be another way to interact with hobbyist users and understand what they want and value.

Anyone else think this is a good idea?



Disclamer : that is not an official response, but my as team member.

This subject was largely debated inside the dev team during the last two years (at least). I think that we all want what your are speaking about but the main source of issues are : lack of management, lack of long term budget, lack of full time developper.
It a good chicken-egg issue : without stable funding, we won’t full time paid developper (yep I work for free here ;-P), without full time developper/manager we won’t have stable funding…

We already support funding of new feature, mostly with the partner program and also bug tracking. But generally we lack works force either for coding or review …

For new funding coming from the communauty, we have a funding commitee : . Maybe we should advertise more how to make proposal as those proposal are generally mostly fund by the project and sometimes with help from partner.

Another issue with funding feature is how to suppervised work ? We need somebody to code and somebody to watch over. But what append if it goes wrong ? Ardupilot has no legal right nor the money to attack a contractor (given that we made contractor contract for a feature). You see what I mean ?
I would love to work 100% for ardupilot, but for now, it isn’t possible.

I definitely can see the issue here and it really would require resources to manage crowd-funded developers. Mind you I really would not envision this as being terribly commercial. I would think it really a case of being used by the funding committee to spend on existing developers rather than just thrown out to devs for hire – that would be a non-starter.

The key being that these resources come from hobbyists who have pooled their resources. Serial camera control is a good example but there are others like it. It is basically asking users to pony up a little $$. I bet there must be a 100 people that would pay $20 each even to get Runcam control.

What about something like Looks like there are some big teams/projects on there like IBM, and Mozilla.

I think a method to give a general donation should be the first thing to implement.
So why is there no simple “Donate” button on the home page?

Noted that we should make it more visible

I doubt anybody would find that. :slight_smile: In fact each finder should receive a prize!
Donation sent via paypal.

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Speaking as a monthly recurring donor of a few years, can you not get a bit more visible with donations. At the top of every page please just ASK people to consider setting up $5 or $1 a month to keep the lights on and features funded. As has been pointed out, this is absurdly well hidden.

And why not create a public badge for those who do so? This all plays into the very simple psychology of fundraising.

And who here cannot afford $5 a month for something many spend too much time messing with anyway – speaking purely as a hobbyist.


G’day Marc,
Good suggestion. I’ve raised an issue on the wiki referencing this thread, and will discuss with the team.
Thanks for your support!


Is there anyways you can add like the supporter membership or something like that. RC Groups and others have that.

I think this is something those of us who talk (mostly nonsense) about the industry can do more with as well as I’ll do my bit for sure. We need to promote this and Next week when I get a chance I’ll go and add the donation link into any video I have on Ardu, I’ll also make sure from now on I specifically mention about donation as well. Again we may need a poke on this but for sure more can be done.

I have always said that there needs to be a more visible donation or charging structure. Perhaps something again like a members only chat for monthly donators, more prominent request for cash on updates, while this is OS we all benefit from progress and that costs coin.


Couldn’t agree more here with you @Marc_Dornan. I wouldn’t mind if it was even added to the top of every forum page as well!! I honestly have never seen how to donate to ardupilot aside from buying swagg. I have donated to mission planner as it has always been linked to whom ever was maintaining it and found it much easier to donate to that than ardupilot!

Servers by jDrones