Another enormous drone conference has come and gone bringing together a diverse range of innovation and perspective. This blog is currently being written from a peaceful downtown San Francisco location in heavy contrast to last week’s location!
Interdrone 2017 did not fail to deliver on what the event promised. Although no ground-breaking BVLOS which could have been expected, BVLOS remained a continual theme and topic of discussion with safe flight and UTM solutions bringing it increasingly closer.
Progressive keynotes delivered by both FAA and preceded by Intel opened the conference. The take home message would be that the joint efforts of regulatory, tech and every innovation in between will be what continues to drive the drone industry forward into new markets and industry verticals through creating new capability.
The amount of people arriving at our stand to see us was quite overwhelming for just two Flyte representatives to take in all the sights that InterDrone had to offer, however we were still able to fit in some great talks and demos.
Here’s our main take homes from InterDrone 2017:
Michael Huerta’s opening speech included the content which we think everyone wanted to hear. He highlighted sustained growth one year on from the Part 107 launch with circa 60,000 commercial drone pilots operating within the United States.
From his speech it was clear that the FAA continues to share the vision of growth which those within the drone industry have. Most importantly, Huerta made clear that the FAA alone cannot enable the drone industry to reach these heights only through regulation. He stated that it will require the collaborative efforts of innovation and technologies by those within the drone industry to shape the regulation the FAA prescribe.
Is data the new oil? Are drones the new oil wells? Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich suggested this is indeed the case. Is AI then therefore the vehicle which this new oil fuels? Regardless, it’s hard to argue with anything Intel are currently doing within the drone-sphere. Their live indoor demo saw a Falcon 8+ inspect a two-storey building front.
They demonstrated the Falcon 8+’s AI enabling Object Permanence through use of its Sense and Avoid detection positioned at the front of the drone. Essentially, the Falcon 8+, whilst inflight, rapidly generates a 3D model of where all objects are, referring to this inflight and permanently remembering this to avoid obstacles from any angle.
DroneDeploy CEO Mike Winn demonstrated increasingly scalable opportunities for drone pilots into broad range of verticals. They want to enable drone pilots expand their capabilities and really create meaningful analytics out of their data. This message is incredibly pertinent, with many Part 107 pilots we met very eager to expand on the operations they can currently offer their clients and looking for solutions towards that.
Finally, Yuneec demo’d their brand new drone: the Yuneec H520. This drone represents Yuneec’s drive towards creating drones ready for a multitude of commercial operations. For a start, it’s coloured orange. It’s a hex-copter boasting superior stability, it can fly with the loss of two motors and it’s even been tested at altitudes of 11,000ft.
The demo, held in the Hotel Rio car park, simulated a car accident. The Nevada Highway Patrol were on site operating the drone, talking through the standard procedure and then demonstrated how they use the H520 to great effect. Not only does it decrease the time it takes to create vital imagery of the scene, the drone produces unique aerial perspectives.
Yuneec then demo’d the seamless and rapid post-processing of the captured imagery in the latest version of their cloud-based platform. The commercial grade spec and reliability of the H520 combined with its simple to use interface and appealing cost suggests that Yuneec have produced a drone which will fill a significant void in a currently very DJI-based drone hardware world.
Here’s a great video of Yuneec showcasing it.
Flyte’s thoughts on Interdrone:
Despite not eating lunch for three days, the event provided us the chance to meet with some of our users as well as new customers and potential beta-testers. It allowed us to demonstrate our upcoming mobile app and see different aspects of the product being appealing to different customers depending on their business needs and operational requirements.
Of most interest was probably our sectional charts and seamless mobile app, allowing for flight logs to be seamlessly transferred from the drone into the user's account.
Thank you to everyone who came along to our stand, and apologies if we were unable to meet at the event. We have plenty of upcoming events in our calendar so we’ll be sure to let you know where we’ll be next.