3D Robotics (3DR) wants to make it easy for developers to add custom features or create applications for their drones. The company has unveiled a free and open-source drone app development platform.

DroneKit is the company’s API for drone app development, designed to provide a platform for developers to create Web-based drone apps.

“Unlike other APIs for drones, there are no levels of access to DroneKit; it’s completely flexible and open,” said Brandon Basso, VP of software engineering at 3DR. “The platform works on laptops as well as mobile devices. Best of all, once an app is created, the app automatically works on any computing platform—the interface is always the same.”

Before DroneKit, developers looking to create applications would have to build it from the ground up, dealing with the difficulties of writing flight-control software. DroneKit eliminates those struggles and provides a clean, modern interface, according to 3DR.

With DroneKit, developers can build applications for three platforms: mobile apps, Web-based apps and onboard computer apps.

According to 3DR, DroneKit allows developers to:

  • Fly paths with waypoints
  • Fly in a spline path with fine-grained control over vehicle velocity and position
  • Have the drone follow a GPS target
  • Control the camera and gimbal with regions of interest points
  • Access full telemetry from the drone over 3DR Radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or over the Internet
  • View playbacks and log analysis of any mission

DroneKit works on planes, copters, rovers, laptops, computers and mobile devices, and it provides Web-based access to vehicle data.

3DR will continue to maintain the drone development platform, fix problems that arise and ensure it works with any vehicle powered by the APM flight code.

More information is available here.