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Coming Soon: The End of Mass Drone Jack-Assery

Coming Soon: The End of Mass Drone Jack-Assery

I remember attending my first Comdex tradeshow in Las Vegas, in 1983, the focus of which was the burgeoning PC marketplace. I remember clearly thinking to myself I have to be in this industry. It was so clear to all of us who attended that the PC and associated technologies were going to become the

I remember attending my first Comdex tradeshow in Las Vegas, in 1983, the focus of which was the burgeoning PC marketplace. I remember clearly thinking to myself I have to be in this industry. It was so clear to all of us who attended that the PC and associated technologies were going to become the standard in every household around the world. How and when was to be determined but we were sure it was going to happen. We were right!

Today, I attended the first InterDrone Event in Las Vegas. This is the largest drone/UAV tradeshow event to be held in the US with what they tell me includes attendees from 46 countries. Literally thousands of people from around the world are here, all of whom want to learn about starting new drone businesses, managing insurance, FAA regulations, developing new apps, finding future partners, and discovering where they fit in what will be a huge, industry in both the enterprise and consumer categories.

I did not think it possible but this feels bigger than Comdex ever did!

I will report in detail on all of the specific areas covered over the course of the next few days, but today I want to touch on an excellent keynote speech given by Chris Anderson, CEO 3DR.

Chris clearly described the future of the drone industry in terms we can use to prepare ourselves for the future. In a nutshell, the future of drones will require and take full advantage of the Linux platform and provide app developers with the ability to create solutions that will capitalize on the ability to enable use of the device, smartphones, and the cloud.

Most, but not all of the top companies are implementing a combination of Linux, the Drone Kit, and ROS (Robotic Operating System) – all open system architectures – to develop future applications and enable a very high level of autonomous use of drones, every day. This information alone provides companies and consumers a clear direction for future purchases, with lots of options. What you don’t want is a manufacturer that has a closed system, unable to leverage the massive developments taking place around the world using the Drone Kit and other tools.

Anderson went so far as to suggest that manufacturers that do not use open systems like Linux are effectively developing toys, not drones. It was a bold statement, but it makes all the sense in the world when you consider how much is being demanded of drone manufacturers – and how quickly people want developments to be released. Who would want to buy a drone that cannot utilize the latest tools to accomplish specialized tasks?

I could go on for some time, but the last point is that clearly drones are now seen as intelligent, autonomous, sensors that can be deployed automatically, complete their tasks, distribute required data and return to base, all with little or no human intervention.

Even more exciting on the consumer side is the ability to include safe flight capabilities. Imagine on startup a drone that identifies the pilot, location, weather conditions and offers warnings to the user. At the green level you are free to fly. At the yellow level you must be conscious of altitude, weather, density of human populations and hazards in nearby restricted areas. At the red level you are notified that you cannot fly – you’re either too close to something like the White House or you do not have the required certifications to fly in a specific zone.

Technology and commerce have delivered very powerful tools to the masses, some of which has resulted in very bad behavior that effects everyone in the industry. With the tools and capabilities immediately on the horizon, I can clearly see the end of mass Jack-Assery and the implementation of drones across the world delivering the functionality we need to improve the lives of all.

Check back to learn how small and midsize businesses can work with large DOD contractors looking for talent. Also coming is a close look at insurance required for UAV businesses, as well as a close look at the Drone Kit – what it is and how you can use it to grow your business.

 

Eric Clare
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