Last week the MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of «Innovators Under 35». For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. In the latest edition, Lorenz Meier, the developer of the PX4 project, has been recognized by Technology Review as a 2017 Inventor for his work.
Meier created the PX4 flight stack platform for drones and released it as open source in 2011. The PX4 autopilot provides guidance, navigation and control algorithms for autonomous fixed wing, multirotor and VTOL airframes, along with estimators for attitude and position. PX4 is a project within Dronecode and is also supported by the Computer Vision and Geometry Lab of ETH Zurich –Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – and by numerous industry partners.
Meier’s system aims to use cheap cameras and computer logic to let drones fly autonomously around obstacles, determine their optimal paths, and control their overall flight with little or no user input. It has already been adopted by companies including Intel, Qualcomm, Sony, and GoPro.
“It is a fantastic experience going from the small Pixhawk student team to a global open source community serving thousands of developers. None of this would have been possible without the support of ETH, Dronecode and our many contributors and partnering open source projects. It is great to see the work of the development community now being available in professional and consumer products. In the next years my personal focus will be to push the safety, security and reliability of drones onto an industrial grade level. This will make the ecosystem future proof and foster broad adoption in commercial and enterprise use cases”, Lorenz Meier.
“Over the years, we have had success in recognizing young innovators whose work will change how the world thinks about what technology can do,” says editor David Rotman. “Past honorees include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple, Evan Spiegel, cofounder of Snapchat and several other prominent innovators. We are proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we are proud to add Lorenz Meier to this list.”
The Dronecode project delivers a collaborative and shared open source platform for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It provides a neutral place where industry and community developers can contribute technology in order to reduce costs and time to market. Member companies include Intel, Qualcomm, 3D Robotics, Yuneec and many more supporters of the platform.