Drone Programming Bootcamp

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Drone Programming Bootcamp


Welcome to the Drone Programming Bootcamp, where you will learn the core open source software projects that are fueling the progression of today’s drones!

The collection of open source software projects empowering drones is transcending its hobbyist roots and is branching out into business applications at a high rate. This is going to translate to demand for drone engineers/developers who understand the open source flight stack.

This course will serve to introduce and familiarize you with the flight stack, which includes the following:

·  Firmware (To run the drones hardware)

·  Middleware (Communication glue between projects)

·  API to Firmware (High level commanding of drone with Ground Control Stations and Python scripts)

Think of this course as a gateway to becoming a drone engineer/developer. We will cover all of the layers of the flight stack

Each topic contains:

· A high-level introduction to the subject.

·  A low-level dive into the details and application of the subject.

Here are some of the topics that you will learn about in this course:

· Understanding of the importance for each component that makes up the flight stack.

· The open source autopilot software project of ArduPilot.

· How to fly a simulated drone from your computer running the ArduPilot codebase.

· MAVLink middleware and how it is used as a communication glue in the flight stack.

· Ground Control Stations and how they use MAVLink to interact with drones.

· Python scripts that use DroneKit and model your drone as an OOP object in a python script, allowing you to command a real drone from python.

This course is not appropriate non-motivated non-technical people

What about required tools to follow along in this course?

All you need is a computer! The software tools we will be using and learning about are absolutely free, and we will be testing our code on a simulated drone.

What Will I Learn?

  • • Students will gain knowledge of the open source software tools that make up the drone’s software stack.
  • • Know how to develop high level drone applications in python.
  • • Be able to test code they write on a simulated vehicle running on their computer.
  • • Use this foundational introductory knowledge to investigate more advanced drone software subjects.

Topics for this course

Introduction: Drone Basics and Flight Stack Software Overview

Dev Workstation and Dependency Setup

Ardupilot and SITL introduction

Ground Control Stations






  • • Basic linux knowledge of command line commands (cd, mkdir, vi etc).
  • • Basic python knowledge for the dronekit section. (Understanding of any other programming language should suffice).
  • • Only equipment that is needed is a computer with an internet connection.
  • • NO DRONE IS REQUIRED. We use a simulated vehicle in this course.

Target Audience

  • • Engineers or Developers looking to retool their skills for drone software development.
  • • Hobbyists or Hackers with cool DIY drone projects in mind who want to learn more about open source drone software.
  • • Anyone who is motivated and wants to learn how to start coding with drones.