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Commercial UAV Expo Delivers

logo of Commercial UAV Expo
Commercial UAV Expo

I think the exhibit hall at this year’s Commercial UAV Expo has to be the largest of any in the greater lidar drone market with over 225 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees. It was maxed out and there were a lot of people in the booths. The drone industry is exploding, but in many ways it feels like it is just getting started.

The event is at the new Cesar’s Forum which is a very nice facility. Monday opened with live flight demonstrations in the 100 degree plus desert heat.  I skipped that. In the afternoon, there were product presentations from both hardware and software vendors.

Of all the apps that are being promoted the one that I just can’t get behind is drone delivery. Everyone that I spoke with about it tells me I am wrong. One vendor announced that the City of Paris, France expects there to be 20,000 drone deliveries per day by the end of this decade. We’ll see. I think the resistance is going to be much higher than the experts are predicting.

One thing that I am very pleased to report is the number of young people that are involved with drones. That is very encouraging to see. Most companies are small, around 20 employees, but they seem to be doing well, although marketing is not their strong suit.

On a technical note I was not aware of the idea of a drone being NDAA (National Defense Act Authorization) compliant. This is a confusing requirement. Drones made in the U.S. are not automatically compliant. For more information CLICK HERE.

A second technical spec that came up a couple of times was the use of LTE or Long Term Evolution to communicate with the drone in  areas where it is difficult such as in a buried pipe or inside a large storage tank. LTE or 4G LTE is a standard for wireless data transmission that can be used in overcome problems.

The keynotes on Wednesday included the acting Director of the FAA, David Boulter, and the Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, Lisa Ellman. David noted that he thinks that autonomy is going to be the key issue for the next 5 years and that the FAA is aware of the need for and is working on more efficient operations.

I was asked to be a judge for the Pitch the Press session. And the winner is – actually there were 3, Air6, Consortiq, and Wonder Robotics. Check them out.

And yes, in person, face-to-face connections with people are different than ZOOM.

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Commercial UAV Expo

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