The Solo quadcopter from 3D Robotics was built to be an open platform for people to customize their drone's capabilities. Now 3D Robotics is inviting other companies to take this open platform idea to the next level.
The company launched its Made for Solo program Tuesday, which will encourage companies from a variety of industries to build new hardware and accessories that are compatible with the Solo. Basically, this program will make it so Solo users will have a wider variety of accessories to use with their drone that are designed to work as if they were native to the device, even though they're actually from third-party companies.
Companies have already partnered with 3D Robotics to develop new Made for Solo accessories. One of these is JK Imaging, which is making Kodak's PIXPRO SP360 action cameras that capture 360-degree spherical video with a special lens, which could help drones forge new territory in VR in the future. Epson has some augmented reality flight tools under development, including the Moverio AR Glasses. Fiilex is also working on new lighting accessories that will be compatible with the Solo.
All of these and all of the future Made for Solo products will be labeled as official Solo accessories. The developers that join the program will also have access to 3D Robotics' technical and research resources, such as its open software development platform DroneKit.
For those wanting to really trick out their drones, the Made for Solo program sounds like it will streamline the whole process. However, it could be especially beneficial for developers who will not only get the Solo seal of approval but also help them connect with a captive audience of customers to promote and eventually sell their wares to.
Those interested in the Made for Solo program can apply through an online form on 3D Robotics' website. The accessories made through the program will also be featured on 3D Robotics' website in the future.