From new drone delivery platforms to sophisticated sensors to comprehensive traffic management systems, the entrants at this year’s “Pitch the Press” at Commercial UAV Expo showcased the latest in drone-related technology. This year’s judges were impressed by the many presentations, but they ultimately selected ANRA Technologies, FlytBase, and Aerial Vehicle Safety Solutions (AVSS) as the three winners.

Each year, Commercial UAV Expo hosts “Pitch the Press,” a unique opportunity for exhibitors to present their products to a group of editors and reporters looking for the most unique new technology being showcased at Commercial UAV Expo. Seventeen exhibitors were selected from a large pool of applicants to share their new product or service during the one-hour event. Each exhibitor gave a two-minute elevator pitch to members of the media, followed by a short Q&A.

This year’s judges included Miriam McNabb, Editor in Chief at Dronelife, Brett Davis from Inside Unmanned Systems, and Jason San Souci host of the “Do You Know Drones?” podcast. During “Pitch the Press,” these judges listened to two-minute pitches from company representative. They then evaluated the presentations, looking for innovation and potential for ROI, to select the top three. 

Here’s a look at the winners:

Aerial Vehicle Safety Systems (AVSS): The judges were impressed by AVSS’ Guided Delivery System, which enables drones and other aircraft to deliver supplies to difficult, austere locations. AVSS’s presentation explained how the Guided Delivery System has been adopted by customers for when a delivery location cannot reliably and safely be reached by traditional methods. Commenting on AVSS’s presentation, Dronlife’s Miriam McNabb said, “they presented practical use cases, and they showed that there is already a market for the system.”

ANRA Technologies: ANRA was recognized for its Mission Manager X (MMX), which enables end-to-end drone mission management, covering every aspect of drone operations from pre-flight planning to post-flight analytics. The MMX is a complete enterprise drone operations management solution that is drone agnostic and can integrate 90% of commercially available systems, including drone in a box solutions. According to Brett Davis, the MMX demonstrates how ANRA “is leading the market in what’s happening in traffic management in the US and in Europe.” 

FlytBase: FlytBase was chosen for its enterprise-grade drone autonomy software platform. Designed to fully automate aerial data collection workflows, the platform allows users to conduct scheduled and repeatable BVLOS drone flights using docking stations, all controlled from their remote command centers. Commenting on FlytBase’s selection as one of the three winners, Jason San Souci said, “FlytBase has done a very good job of creating an agnostic, open, and scalable platform.”

"The energy and activity that we saw leading up to and at Pitch the Press was truly unprecedented,” said Carla Lauter, Content Manager for Geo Week News, who served as the moderator for the event. “This year’s winners reflect the importance of the practical implications of drone technology. It is inspiring to see how of these solutions can make sense for operators and organizations in the present and future."

Below is a complete list of companies that took part in Pitch the Press:

1.     A2Z Drone Delivery

2.     AeroFT Ltd

3.     Aerial Vehicle Safety Systems (AVSS)

4.     ANRA Technologies

5.     AutoMapp Cloud

6.     Balko Technologies

7.     DJI

8.     Drone Industry Systems Corp.

9.     FlytBase

10.   Freefly Systems

11.   Gotonomi

12.   ideaForge Technology

13.   Neousys Technology America, Inc.


15.   Sharper Shape

16.   Sixdof Space