Hosting a big event in 2020 is quite a challenge. Speakers talk to cameras instead of visible audiences, content needs to be delivered to participants’ homes, and discussions and chats don’t just happen with people walking into each other. But virtual events also provide an opportunity: It can become much easier to reach a broader and bigger audience making the events more inclusive for a community.

Just like any other big event, the PX4 developer summit was hosted completely virtually this year. Speeches and panels were streamed live on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, while Q&A’s and discussions were facilitated on Slack. The host, Dronecode Foundation, managed to take the opportunity and make this year’s summit much bigger than the last one: 1,600 registrations, 600 concurrent viewers, and a total of 300,000 watch minutes on 5 continents. The flawless promotion and organization by the Dronecode Foundation is what made this possible. And thanks to the foundation’s sponsoring member organizations Auterion, NXP, Microsoft, and 96 Boards, as well as volunteering members of the community, the dev summit was completely free for participants this year.

The PX4 Developer Summit is an annual conference hosted by the Dronecode Foundation for the drone development community. It is targeted at enthusiasts as well as professional software developers, hardware engineers, system integrators, and academia. The summit explores the latest technologies in the PX4 ecosystem. The PX4 Autopilot is the most widely adopted open-source flight controller. PX4 has a complete ecosystem of components that has been driving industry standards for unmanned vehicles.

Auterion did not only support the event with its sponsorship. We also contributed content with ten of our engineers in the line-up for presentations and panel discussions. Lorenz Meier, chairman of the Dronecode Foundation and co-founder of Auterion opened the event with an impressive journey through how PX4 became omnipresent in the drone industry. Our engineers Julian Oes, Jaeyoung Lim, Mathieu Bresciani, and Matthias Grob continued the Auterion contributions with presentations about failsafe testing, software-in-the-loop, and multicopter control on day one. Tuesday was opened with Auterion’s Michael Schäuble and Nuno Marques participating in a panel about community-driven drone standards. Jonas Vautherin, Julian Kent, and Silvan Fuhrer completed the Auterion line-up on day two with presentations and live demos about the extension of MAVSDK, automated testing, and control allocation. The links to recordings of all presentations can be found at the end of this blog.

The feedback was overwhelming: Participants were not only impressed with the organization of the event, they also rated the presentations with an average of 9 out of 10. It is the kind of event that helps our industry accelerate and move forward together. Auterion is very proud of supporting such an important event for the drone community. We are very much looking forward to next year’s event – hopefully in person and without wearing a mask.

Lorenz Meier: Keynote (live)

Julian Oes: Automated PX4 failsafe testing using MAVSDK

Jaeyoung Lim: Simulated Workflows using Software-In-The-Loop Simulations

Mathieu Bresciani/Matthias Grob: Overview of multicopter control from sensors to motors (live)

Michael Schäuble/Nuno Marques: Pixhawk: Community Driven Open Standards for Drones (live)

Jonas Vautherin: Extending MAVSDK with new features (live)

Julian Kent: Automated testing as part of PX4 development (live)

Silvan Fuhrer: Control Allocation: reworking the PX4 mixing system (live)

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