ArduPilot has a long and successful history dating back to 2009. Since that time ArduPilot has become a world leader in autonomous vehicle control for all types of aircraft, rovers, as well as underwater vehicles. In the past few years ArduPilot developers had enjoyed the sponsorship of 3D Robotics (3DR) which funded a large number of code developers as well as hardware projects. However in March of 2016, 3DR ceased direct funding to a core group of ArduPilot developers. This has led to a significant restructuring of the ArduPilot environment.
Given that the ArduPilot world is composed of a wide range of users varying from the a new hobbyist to large corporate users there is a varying degree of support required. It was decided among a core group of ArduPilot developers and contributors that to satisfy this wide range of needs in the ArduPilot world that the best structure would be to establish a non-profit to home the ArduPilot project (ArduPilot.org) and separately allow developers to team or work individually to fund their continued development efforts.
The ArduPilot Initiative was formed by a group of core developers, contributors, and users to provide direct engineering and consulting services to professional and commercial users of the ArduPilot codebase. As a engineering and consulting services organization our goal is to satisfy the individual needs of your project while also continuing to contribute back to the ArduPilot project.