I understand why commercial developers dislike the entry of an open source project into their market and hope it will fail. But the trend lines are clear on this one: open source is here to stay and is spreading, mostly because it leads to more, cheaper products faster. ArduPilot, for example. went from concept to maturity (with the 2.5 code, now in the hands of beta testers) in a year, including a full suite of supporting tools. There is no commercial autopilot that has come close to that speed of development. And as the DIY Drones community grows and our tools of group development improve, we are extending that to a host of new products created by the members here. To hire this many engineers would be ruinous, but by creating a community of shared interest and a culture of collaboration, we can do so at almost no cost at all. It’s really quite magical.
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Open source undermines the profit of companies that are unwilling or unable to support the needs of customers who have curiosity and interest in technology. I fail to see any indication that open source kills innovation. In fact, I think the idea of open source is one of the most innovative concepts in modern times.
Watching this in action, Open Source Hardware is hated by the commercial UAV crowd because it proves that the Cubic Defense Dollars they are chasing and burning is massive overspending for the return. They wouldn’t be having problems if they were running a tighter ship and being more productive. After eliminating open source, their next complaint would be Chinese and Indian engineering undermining their ability to come to market for all the same reasons.