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Dronelink

dronelink

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Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been heads-down working on my next project called Dronelink.

Dronelink is an entirely new approach to flight automation, and we are looking for beta testers on iOS, Android, and the web. This is a great opportunity for you to influence our product roadmap, and we would love your feedback. You can join the beta now, and our public launch is scheduled for later this year.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jim McAndrew and I am a software architect and drone enthusiast from Austin, Texas. My passion for creating drone software started in 2014 with Autopilot, the first app for DJI drones in the iOS App Store. After Autopilot I cofounded Hangar and served as CTO until mid 2018. Since then I have been working hard to create Dronelink - the culmination of five years of experience and lessons learned. To those of you who have supported me along the way, thank you.

I look forward to creating the future of flight automation with you.

-Jim
 
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Autopilot was the BEST by far! What happened to it? I went to use it for the first time in a while and found it has apparently been abandoned by Hangar... no development, no support, no updates.

That said, based on my experience with Autopilot, if you’re doing something new I’m all ears! I’m not sure I can beta-test because our craft are needed for our business, but I’d sure like to see the feature set!

Again... I really miss Autopilot!
 

dronelink

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Autopilot was the BEST by far! What happened to it? I went to use it for the first time in a while and found it has apparently been abandoned by Hangar... no development, no support, no updates.

That said, based on my experience with Autopilot, if you’re doing something new I’m all ears! I’m not sure I can beta-test because our craft are needed for our business, but I’d sure like to see the feature set!

Again... I really miss Autopilot!
Definitely give Dronelink a try..

Part of the benefit of it is that you can try most of it -- without even flying.

Set up a beta account and use the product on an iPad or even better on a PC/Mac with a big monitor. Plan some missions and you'll be able to see how powerful the approach is..

Flying with the drone (on IOS or Android) becomes almost an afterthought (although it is the best part!)

Let us know what you think.
 
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Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been heads-down working on my next project called Dronelink.

Dronelink is an entirely new approach to flight automation, and we are looking for beta testers on iOS, Android, and the web. This is a great opportunity for you to influence our product roadmap, and we would love your feedback. You can join the beta now, and our public launch is scheduled for later this year.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jim McAndrew and I am a software architect and drone enthusiast from Austin, Texas. My passion for creating drone software started in 2014 with Autopilot, the first app for DJI drones in the iOS App Store. After Autopilot I cofounded Hangar and served as CTO until mid 2018. Since then I have been working hard to create Dronelink - the culmination of five years of experience and lessons learned. To those of you who have supported me along the way, thank you.

I look forward to creating the future of flight automation with you.

-Jim
I've been an Autopilot "Pro" user for a couple years. Though there have been some minimal issues, the program HAS served me well. That said....

With all due respect....

Dronelink looks interesting, but the EULA is a real deal-breaker for me. I just skimmed through it and its raising a lot of flags. I don't mind two-way data sharing with Dronelink, but unless I can be guaranteed that the data doesn't go beyond Dronelink's servers, I'm afraid I'll have to continue with Autopilot. That said...

When I install any iOS app I select "Don't Allow" across the board. Not sure how this will effect data collection via the Dronelink app. Is this one way I can protect my privacy?

I see that, with an accelerated level of diligence, I can remove and/or modify SOME data that I physically entered into the Dronelink website (which is no guarantee that it will be removed from any databases maintained by Dronelink or third-party servers). I would prefer that some data simply not be collected...like my contacts list, documents, photos, etc., for instance.

I'm interested in knowing which laws require that you collect and retain my information? I've never heard of any such law that REQUIRES an app to collect data. I would also be interested in knowing which information it is you must collect and retain as required by law?

Other than deleting already-collected data, are there other options in Dronelink to better protect my privacy? I would like to be a beta-tester, but not if I have to give away the store to do it. I hope you understand.

Final question: Is data mining and sharing part of your revenue stream?

Regards,

D
 
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The Editor

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To expand on Donnie’s post above.

@dronelink - how will you demonstrate compliance with GDPR within Europe and a request to delete/erase all data held on an individual?
You would have to action such a request within 30 days or the ICO have the power to levy fines to the sum of €5,000,000 or 4% of your annual turnover (whichever greater) for non compliance.

Does GDPR have to be incorporated now into your EULA?
 

dronelink

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Dronelink looks interesting, but the EULA is a real deal-breaker for me. I just skimmed through it and its raising a lot of flags.
If there are specific terms you have questions about we would be happy to address your concerns. Please submit a support request here.

When I install any iOS app I select "Don't Allow" across the board. Not sure how this will effect data collection via the Dronelink app. Is this one way I can protect my privacy?
The permissions requested by the app are requested because we need the data to provide certain features (for example, location, in order to enforce the takeoff restriction settings), or because the DJI SDK forces it. We have even tested the permissions the SDK claims to need and removed some of the ones that it turns out aren't actually required, such as reading your contacts.

like my contacts list
This is not collected, see above.

photos, etc., for instance.
The SDK requests access to the camera/photo roll because it has functionality that allows you to download images from the SD card directly to your camera roll. If you don't need this functionality, you can deny the permission.

I'm interested in knowing which laws require that you collect and retain my information? I've never heard of any such law that REQUIRES an app to collect data. I would also be interested in knowing which information it is you must collect and retain as required by law?
Again, is this referencing a specific clause in the documents? If so, please submit the support request so we can answer your question with the appropriate context.

Other than deleting already-collected data, are there other options in Dronelink to better protect my privacy?
The primary feature that affects privacy is whether you create public or private repositories. If you don't want to share and collaborate with other users, you should only create private repositories, meaning the mission plans and components in those repositories will only be visible to you.

Final question: Is data mining and sharing part of your revenue stream?
Our business model will be based on subscription revenue. Our subscribers are our customers, not our product.

To expand on Donnie’s post above.

@dronelink - how will you demonstrate compliance with GDPR within Europe and a request to delete/erase all data held on an individual?
We are happy, willing, and able to comply with any GDPR request to delete all of your data from our servers within the required timeframe.

To expand on Donnie’s post above.

@dronelink
Does GDPR have to be incorporated now into your EULA?
We believe our documents are GDPR compliant, but if you see an issue please submit a support request with the appropriate context so we can make modifications to the documents if needed.
 
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Hi Jim,

Glad to see the project is moving along well. I only found out about DroneLink earlier this week and registered a couple of days ago. Unfortunately I never got a chance to get out there and do any testing with any of my drones.

Coming from the IT world, I do appreciate the programmatic approach you've taken. A few comments on what I have seen so far:
  • I saw the tutorials and forums on your site. However, I have not found any very detailed documentation on the entire process. Am I missing something?
  • One area i am interested in is the orthomosaic and photogrammetry aspect of flying a mission. I have used Drone Deploy and am trying to compare it to their service. I did see it marked as COMPLETE in your road map, but again with no details. Once a mission is flown, how are the pictures stitched into one composite to-scale photograph? If this is done off-line (like Drone Deploy) , how long does that process take? Are there tools with your paid service that will allow me to snap lines with measurements on the finished product?
  • With the Pro plan at $100/year, would it include an unlimited number of these mapping missions?
Thank you in advance for answering these questions.
 

dronelink

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I saw the tutorials and forums on your site. However, I have not found any very detailed documentation on the entire process. Am I missing something?
We are about to release a series of video tutorials that we will continue to expand on over time. Stay tuned.

I did see it marked as COMPLETE in your road map, but again with no details. Once a mission is flown, how are the pictures stitched into one composite to-scale photograph? If this is done off-line (like Drone Deploy) , how long does that process take? Are there tools with your paid service that will allow me to snap lines with measurements on the finished product?
Mapping functionality was implemented as a new Component Type, each of which will get a separate tutorial video in the series mentioned above. Dronelink is just focused on the flight control right now, but we are planning to make the mission format open source so that third-party processing solutions could automatically identify the specific images that go with specific assets from your Dronelink missions.

Of course all of this will require ongoing effort, which is why the pricing model is subscription based.
 
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We are about to release a series of video tutorials that we will continue to expand on over time. Stay tuned.


Mapping functionality was implemented as a new Component Type, each of which will get a separate tutorial video in the series mentioned above. Dronelink is just focused on the flight control right now, but we are planning to make the mission format open source so that third-party processing solutions could automatically identify the specific images that go with specific assets from your Dronelink missions.

Of course all of this will require ongoing effort, which is why the pricing model is subscription based.
Thank you for the response, but I'm not really sure you answered my question. So at this time, DroneLink will not be able to stitch individual pictures taken during a mapping mission into a single orthomosaic?
 

dronelink

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Thank you for the response, but I'm not really sure you answered my question. So at this time, DroneLink will not be able to stitch individual pictures taken during a mapping mission into a single orthomosaic?
Apologies for not being clear. Dronelink is focused on flight control only right now. We may add data processing later, or integrate with third-party solutions, but these items are still in the wish-list buckets of the roadmap (asset tracking, asset storage, asset processing). Feel free to up-vote these features!
 

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