Software and Tools to Program Drones

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Dronecode

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Full version: Free (BSD licence)

Dronecode software development kit (SDK) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program development platform created under the open source Dronecode project. It allows users to connect up to 255 PX4-based unmanned aircraft systems (UASes) to provide movement control and fetch telemetry data. It runs on different platforms including Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android. Developers can use various programming languages, such as JAVA, Objective C or Python, for coding. The SDK also supports API plugins, especially MAVLINK, for various applications and for connecting custom hardware.

DroneDeploy

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Full version: Paid; free trial

To program drones for personal projects as well as commercial uses, DroneDeploy offers a comprehensive development platform. It can be customised as mobile applications with auto-imagery and mapping features. Drones can be programmed to create real-time 2D live maps as well as 3D models. Live mapping can be done as thermal imagery, too. Cloud compatibility allows inter-team collaboration, remote data access, export and integration.

FlytBase

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Full version: Paid

FlytBase Internet of Drones (IoD) platform helps users to perform large-scale drone deployments. Two main components of FlytBase platform—FlytOS and FlytCloud—allow developers to quickly assemble complex drone applications. This ensures that all time-critical components (conflict avoidance, precise navigation, object tracking, etc) are deployed at the edge (FlytOS), while computationally-heavy (non-time critical) tasks are offloaded to the cloud (FlytCloud). Cloud connectivity enables remote operation of drones and integration with a variety of cloud-based business applications. Safety and reliability are critical for drone applications. The platform is designed to provide enterprise-class security and deployment options to meet a variety of needs.

DroneKit

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Full version: Free

DroneKit, created by 3D Robotics, is a handy toolkit to develop drone applications. It lets users develop programs for ground device (control device/mobile), aerial device (drone) and the cloud. Programs can be built using Python for Android (iOS coming soon) SDK and the remaining APIs on cloud. DroneKit is an open source platform that has elaborate documentation to help users get started easily.

Pix4D

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Full version: Paid

Pix4D offers a complete photogrammetry software suite, where each tool is suitable for different kinds of applications. Constituent tools include Pix4Dmapper for professional drone mapping, Pix4Dcapture application for flying drones and capturing images, Pix4Dmodel for sharing 3D models from drone images, Pix4Dbim software for 3D mapping, Pix4Dfields for aerial-cropping analysis of fields and Pix4Dengine for deriving data-driven analytics from captured images. This is a great tool for enterprises looking to optimise their UAV usage.


 

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