Spanish Startup Deploys Ubuntu Snappy Core Open Source OS for Drones

Spanish Startup Deploys Ubuntu Snappy Core Open Source OS for Drones

Erle Robotics is using Snappy Ubuntu Core, Canonical's Linux-based, open source, transactionally updated operating system, for drones and robots.

Ubuntu Linux, Canonical's open source OS, already runs on PCs, servers, phones and tablets. Now, a small company named Erle Robotics wants to bring Ubuntu to drones, too.

Erle Robotics is a start-up in Spain whose goal is to develop Linux-based "brains" for robots and drones. The company already offers products that run Snappy Core Ubuntu, the transactionally updated version of Ubuntu designed for embedded devices.

The products include the Erle-Copter, a radio-controlled drone priced at 699 euros, or about $750.

The company also offers an "Ubuntu drone with legs" called the Land Spider. It doesn't fly, but the company reminds prospective customers that drones "are much more than just flying vehicles."

Perhaps most interesting is Erle Robotics's Ubuntu Snappy Core "app store," a repository for drone-oriented software that runs on Ubuntu. Currently, fewer than two dozen apps are available, but that's not a bad start for such a novel niche.

So far, Canonical has given little indication that it intends to target the drone market in particular with Snappy. The company has instead oriented its focus toward IoT. But start-ups like Erle Robotics, which wants to use Snappy to revolutionize another segment of the embedded computing industry, underline the broad applicability of Canonical's newest Ubuntu variant.

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