2023 PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit set for New Orleans this fall

Add this to the list of 2023 drone events — and this one is in the Big Easy. The 2023 PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit has revealed the details for this year’s event, and it’s set for October 21-23, 2023 in New Orleans.

The 2023 Dronecode PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit is geared toward software or hardware developer working with drones, and the whole summit centers around the Dronecode ecosystem, including PX4 Autopilot, MAVLINK, MAVSKD, QGroundControl, and Pixhawk. For folks who use those systems for their work, the conference provides a regular opportunity to network, learn, and collaborate with other drone developers from around the world.

Last year’s event (held in Austin, Texas) even hosted its own custom drone light show.

Since the conference is so far out, not all details have been announced. Keynotes, breakouts and other workshops have yet to have been revealed, but expect to hear from industry leaders. the conference will also include technical talks and workshops, for more hands-on learning and opportunities to participate in discussions.

But because the conference is so far out — and you’re hearing about it now — this should serve as good news for budding leaders: there’s an opportunity for you to be a speaker at the summit, yourself.

A public Call for Proposals is now open, and the Linux Foundation is seeking developers, researchers, and enthusiasts to submit proposals for talks, workshops, and panel discussions. That could create an opportunity for you to showcase your work, build up your resume, gain recognition from the community and expand your network.

Proposals might include 30-minute presentations, 5-minute lighting talks, 2-hour workshops or anything in between. PX4 said it is looking for proposals on topics including ROS, ROS 2, Gazebo, XRCE-DDS, computer vision, VIO, simulation, deep learning and more.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Details of attending the 2023 Dronecode PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit

Here are some key details about the 2023 PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit that you need to know:

2023 PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit Registration

Early-bird registration is open now, available through June 30. When you register early, you’ll save $150 on the registration fee, paying just $400.

Otherwise, the standard fee is $550. That is, until October 2 when the late registration fee of $650 kicks in. Register for the 2023 Dronecode summit here.

Though, you might qualify for entirely free registration (and perhaps free travel too). The Dronecode Foundation offers scholarships and financial aid to support individuals with financial constraints. There are scholarships geared toward diversity, targeting applicants from traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized groups, such as women (women make up 7.9% of all certified remote pilots, according to FAA data). There’s also financial assistance for folks seeking need-based support. To apply for a scholarship or financial aid, visit this page.

Depending on the nature of your scholarship, you might get free registration. Some scholarships are even more generous, covering up to $2,500 in travel expenses to get to New Orleans.

Even if you don’t get the scholarship, there’s also a discounted “Academic” rate for current full-time students and faculty members. You’ll need a valid Faculty or Student ID to register.

The conference hotel

The Summit will be held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, located in downtown New Orleans adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center and Champions Square. It’s also not too far from the historic French Quarter.

For now, room rates at the conference hotel are running about $370 per night including taxes and fees. But if you opt to stay there, then sign up for the free World of Hyatt loyalty program to at least earn points for your stay. It can also be booked on points starting at just 9,000 points per night. And if you don’t have any points to your name, you can get easily earn enough to cover your trip through the signup bonus on the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which can net you up to 60,000 points via the intro offer alone.

And, consider this conference to be a 2-for-1, of sorts. The 2023 PX4 Autopilot Developer Summit is being held adjacent to ROSCon 2023, so you can attend both in one trip.

What PX4 anyway?

PX4 is an open source flight control software designed primarily for drones, though it’s used in other types of uncrewed vehicles as well.

Open source refers to technology that operates via a a free-use license (as opposed to a closed-source product typically built by one individual company and considered proprietary). Open-source tech is built and improved upon by the public — regular developers (like those who might attend the summit).

This summit has close ties to the Dronecode Foundation, which is the team behind this conference and a U.S.-based, vendor-neutral non-profit foundation for open source drone projects, and that operates under the Linux Foundation.

Open-source tech is a growing aspect of drones. Drone brands leveraging open-source tech account now for 16% of all commercial drones out there (and they account for a far-higher 60% of all non-DJI drones), according to a report from commercial drone research group Drone Analyst on the rise of open source drones. Big players in the open source drone world include Auterion, AirMap and Volansi.

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