You can see some coverage of the OpenRelief presentation at LinuxCon Japan 2013 over at LWN.net. Big thanks are due to the organisers for letting us present at the venue and for Jake Edge for writing us up.
Preview here: “Shane Coughlan talked about the progress (and setbacks) for the OpenRelief project. That project had its genesis at the 2011 LinuxCon Japan—held shortly after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident that hit Japan—as part of a developer panel discussion about what could be done to create open source technical measures to help out disaster relief efforts. That discussion led to the creation of the OpenRelief project, which seeks to build a robotic airplane (aka drone) to help relief workers “see through the fog” to get the right aid to the right place at the right time.
The test airframe he displayed at last year’s event had some durability flaws: “airframes suck”, he said. In particular, the airframe would regularly break in ways that would be difficult to fix in the field. Endurance is one of the key features required for a disaster relief aircraft, and the project had difficulty finding one that would both be durable and fit into its low price point ($1000 for a fully equipped plane, which left $100-200 for the airframe).”
Jake also posted a rather dashing photo of our new airframe release announcement.