PX4 Developer Summit goes completely virtual, and it’s free to tune in

Here’s a silver lining in the midst of coronavirus lockdowns: it has gotten a whole lot easier (and cheaper) to participate in a number of drone events a conferences go virtual — and registration costs are slashed. The PX4 Developer Summit is slashing registration costs completely, making their 100%-virtual event also 100% free to attend.

The PX4 Development Summit will be held July 6-7, 2020 — all online. You can register for it here. The PX4 Developer Summit is designed for software developers, hardware engineers, system integrators, and academia, geared toward promoting the PX4 ecosystem. 

This is the second year of what is intended to be an annual event hosted by  Dronecode, a Linux Foundation non-profit. Last year’s event was held at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and it drew about 200 develpoers from 20 countries.

This year’s event is quite a bit larger — in fact, 800 people are already registered, making the 2020 PX4 Developer Summit the largest dedicated developer event in the drone industry. 

Maybe it’s that $0 price tag. While many drone conferences have slashed ttheir prices, few have gone completely free.

Another enterprise and developer-focused drone event, DJI AirWorks 2020 will be held 100% virtually this year. Tickets are $49 between now and July 8, before they go up to $99.

But even $99 is small beans compared to the Federal Aviation Administration’s annual UAS symposium. The event will be held 100% virtually, yet will still cost $375 — drawing outrage over the cost, especially as small businesses have been hurt from coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Though, nothing is truly free. Expect the conference to largely be centered around promoting Pixhawk and Auterion (after all, Auterion is also sponsoring the event).

It’s been a big year for Auterion, a company created by the same people behind open-source autopilot system, Pixhawk. Auterion launched its Skynode product in May 2020 as a sort of “brain for drones.” Auterion was also named as a finalist in the third annual AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards 2020.

Dr. Lorenz Meier, co-founder of Auterion, chairman of Dronecode, and author of PX4, MAVLink, QGC, and Pixhawk, will lead the keynote. All sessions will be live-streamed simultaneously through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And even if you can’t make it on July 6 and 7, all sessions will be available after the event on the PX4 Autopilot YouTube channel.

Other speakers will include Dronecode Program Manager Ramon Roche, and Principal Product Manager of Autonomous Systems at Microsoft Guada Casuso.

Here’s the full 2020 PX4 Developer Summit schedule

*Note: all times are in PT

Monday, July 6, 2020 

  • 8:15 – 9 a.m.: Opening Keynote by Dr. Lorenz Meier
  • 9 – 9:15 a.m.: Automated PX4 failsafe testing using MAVSDK 
  • 10:05 – 10:20 a.m.: Simulated Workflows using Software-In-The-Loop Simulations 
  • 10:25 – 11:05 a.m.: Overview of Multicopter Control From Sensors to Motors

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

  • 8:15 – 9 a.m.: Pixhawk: Community Driven Open Standards for Drones
  • 11:05 – 11:35 a.m.: Extending MAVSDK With New Features
  • 11:35am – 12:05 p.m.: Automated Testing as Part of PX4 Development 
  • 12:15 – 12:45 p.m.: Control Allocation: Reworking the PX4 Mixing System
  • 1:45 – 2 p.m.: PX4: Contributing to Docs

Most other major drone conferences scheduled for 2020 have either been postponed or moved online. See the Drone Girl list (it’s being continuously updated) of cancelled or postponed drone conferences (and their new plans) here.

Want more free, online drone content besides the PX4 Developer Summit? I’ve got an entire guide to free, online drone video courses, including links to past sessions from another drone conference company, Interdrone, free FAA drone webinars, and more.

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