DroneLife caught up with Auterion co-founder Lorenz Meier at the InterDrone show this week and asked him about the significance of the release: “MAVSDK Software Development Kit marks the creation of a open eco-system that will will interface to a whole classes of drone applications,” says Meier. He goes on to draw an analogy between drone platforms and Apple IOS and Android applications for cell phones, saying: “Having two robust eco-systems for drone applications benefits the industry.”
Auterion Announces MAVSDK Software Development Kit for the Drone Communications Protocol MAVLink
Auterion, the leading open-source operating system for enterprise drones, today announced the release of MAVSDK, a set of libraries in different programming languages (C++, Python, Swift, Java) that provide a high-level API to the MAVLink protocol for communication between a ground control station and drones, or the drone and a payload sensor.
Formerly known as Dronecode SDK, MAVSDK includes all the features of the previous release, along with many improvements. This new release makes it easier to develop applications in various programming languages. It also provides pre-built software libraries that allow developers to install MAVSDK and run scripts that automatically enable a variety of actions, within minutes, like take-off and landing, flying to set coordinates or waypoints or activating sensor payloads.
“Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “Now, with MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”
Why is MAVSDK different?
Provides a high-level, user-friendly API for developers (MAVLink is too basic for many use cases, even with language bindings).
It allows the community to be cross-platform and supports multiple programming languages in a consistent manner.
MAVSDK is scalable. Previous solutions, such as the defunct DroneKit, were difficult to maintain because each language had its own implementation.
The performance and scalability allow the use case for swarm scenarios, which requires a highly efficient backend.
It empowers the SDK to be extensible for specific use cases and features.
Most importantly, given the open nature of the MAVSDK, the goal is to enable a grassroots approach to innovation by sharing and collaborating with different “actors” (service providers, manufacturers) on a common API without hindering them from diversifying and improving.
Auterion, as the largest contributor to the project, is committed to investing and maintaining MAVSDK. The company sees the importance of a reliable and robust integration point to enable multiple use cases and accessing multiple payloads. Auterion will provide seamless integration with it for its customers and partners so that they don’t have to worry about maintaining it.
Auterion is the leading open-source operating system for drones. With 50+ employees across offices in Switzerland and California, Auterion has to date raised $10M in venture-backed funding from investors such as Lakestar, Mosaic Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, and Tectonic Ventures. The company’s global customer base includes GE Aviation, Impossible Aerospace, and the U.S. Department of Defense.