It wasn’t easy, but a panel of judges from UAV publications listened to pitches from 17 leading drone and technology companies and selected three winners in the annual “Pitch the Press” session at Commercial UAV Expo.

The winners are:

Air6 Systems: Austria’s Air6 was selected for its DrSuit, short for “drone squadron for unmanned inspections of wind turbines.” The uncrewed system deploys a swarm of four drones, navigated from a control vessel onshore, to conduct offshore wind turbine inspections. Fully autonomous from end to end, the system makes the inspection process more efficient and environmentally friendly. In selecting Air6, the judges felt the system could improve the quality of offshore inspections and produce tremendous savings in time and energy.

Consortiq: The judges were impressed by Consortiq’s approach to building inspections. Using AI technology and 360 cameras, Consortiq can provide inspectors with a complete look at the outside and inside of buildings, evaluating assets and helping to ensure safety. Citing recent tragedies involving fires at unsafe buildings, the judges felt that Consortiq’s technology could save lives and contribute to humanity.

Wonder Robotics: “Vertical awareness” is the goal of Wonderland from Wonder Robotics. A system to improve the safe landing of autonomous vehicles, Wonderland’s sensors and algorithms increase understanding of weather conditions, ground conditions, lighting, and other factors that can impact landings and put people on the ground at risk. In selecting Wonderland, the panel of judges cited the need for safe landing paths and risk management around drone operations.

 "We had a record number of submissions and presentations this year, which highlights the incredible variety that is on display across the entire exhibit hall,” said Jeremiah Karpowicz, Editorial Director of Commercial UAV News. “Our winners reflect that variety on multiple levels though, because in each of them you can see how they're creating value today while also opening up possibilities for tomorrow. That connection with the present and future of technology adoption and integration is what this event is all about."

This year’s judges included Abe Peck of Inside Unmanned Systems, Dronelife’s Editor in Chief Miriam McNabb, Gene Roe from Lidar News, and Jeff Thoreson, Editor-in-Chief of xyHt. During “Pitch the Press,” the 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.

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