If you couldn’t make it out to the desert in September to attend Commercial UAV Expo Americas this year or just weren’t able to make every booth on the exhibit hall floor, check out these 12 interviews that Commercial UAV News filmed live on site to get a taste of some of the conversations being had, the new and innovative solutions being presented, and more.
Brandon Torres Declet, CEO of AgEagle, Explains Why It Is Time for End Users to Invest in Drones
In his keynote, Brandon Torres Declet, CEO of AgEagle, spoke to solution providers calling upon them to continue to innovate and to end users to invest saying:
“My call to action is, let's not wait. There’s no need to wait anymore to make real investments in drone technology and deploying it at scale. I think we have proven the value, time and time again, and we've done the math and can show the cost savings and value so now's the time to step up and really make those investments.”
Commercial UAV News caught up with Torres Declet after his speech to discuss why this is the time for end users to invest, how the industry can innovate, and other key takeaways from the discussion.
Commaris Unveils the Ultra-Quiet Seeker eVTOL
At Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Commaris, a brand of Terrafugia, unveiled the Seeker drone, an ultra-quiet, long distance eVTOL capable of carrying multiple sensors for most businesses’ long-range data collection needs. We spoke with Fred Bedard, Manager of
Business Development at Terrafugia, to learn more about the Seeker’s capabilities.
The Potential of Hydrogen Fuel Cells for UAS
Doosan Mobility Innovation have leveraged hydrogen-based clean fuel for long-range drone applications.
The range of any UAS platform is dependent on how long it can remain powered for a single flight, and several companies are working to try and balance weight, range, and time in the air using advanced battery technologies or alternative fuels to try and extend that range. For Doosan Mobility Innovation, the future of fuel may be in hydrogen-based fuel cells. These cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity, and could potential allow for much longer flight times and distances. With extended raise in the air, deliveries to remote areas, search and rescue operations and other large-scale work for inspections, etc. are more accessible - all without a battery swap. We caught up with Doosan to discuss how their hydrogen fuel cell works, and how fleets can get deliveries of hydrogen whenever and wherever they need it.
The Capabilities and Applications of Emesent’s Autonomous Lidar Mapping System Hovermap
At Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Daniel Fuller, Technical Business Development Manager for America at Emesent, spoke with Commercial UAV News about the history, capabilities, and applications of their SLAM-based autonomous Lidar mapping system, and their newest integration with Acecore’s Zoe Drone.
Exyn’s Platform-Agnostic Autonomous Mapping Solution
Commercial UAV News has spoken with Nader Elm, CEO of Exyn Technologies, about the importance of defining autonomy for the drone industry on a number of occasions. So when they joined us at Commercial UAV Expo Americas, we made a point to stop by their booth to take a look and get more information about their platform agnostic, autonomous mapping software based off of their proprietary SLAM-based algorithm.
Are Fleet Management Services the Key to Scaling Up UAS Programs?
By removing some of the work involved with keeping drones up and running, Fortress Solutions hopes to help companies think bigger.
Implementing drone workflows can be straightforward when there are only a few platforms to manage but scaling to work with a fleet of drones across various company locations can pose additional challenges. Rather than dedicating in-house personnel to maintain, deploy, charge, or refuel drones, Fortress Solutions offers an alternative for fleet management. By taking over the repair, refueling and logistics, Fortress Solutions’ business model allows companies to scale up their drone programs without dedicating additional staff. At the Commercial UAV Expo, we spoke to Fortress Solutions about their services and their partnership with Doosan to provide hydrogen fuel cells for their long-distance drones.
Ignis Drone Amplified: Fighting Fire with Fire
Fighting fire with fire may seem counterintuitive, but the practice of Backburning is a long-standing firefighting technique. By igniting small fires to burn out the fuel for wildfires, or creating fire breaks before a wildfire arrives, can be important tools for stopping wildfires. However, backburning can pose extreme risks to firefighting teams. The process usually requires firefighters to traverse hazardous terrain to set these blazes or helicopters to fly dangerously close to the ground, both of which are incredibly risky.
Ignis Drone Amplified has created a solution that takes the human out of loop by providing firefighters with the technology to set these fires via drone from a safe and remote location. Commercial UAV News stopped by their booth at Commercial UAV Expo Americas to learn more.
Pendleton UAS Range Provides a Proving Ground for Drone Technology
The Pendleton UAS Range in Northeast Oregon has an impressive 14,000 square miles of FAA-approved airspace for testing drones of all sizes in almost any condition. The range hosts between 400 and 1,000 operations a month, which makes it one of the busiest ranges in North America. Commercial UAV News spoke with the team at Pendleton to learn more about how it has helped drone manufacturers bring their products to market faster and more.
Qualcomm’s 5G AI Enabled Drone Platform
If you spent any time watching the news on the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter, then you are probably already familiar with Qualcomm’s technology, which helped to bring that project to fruition. Commercial UAV News spoke with the team at Qualcomm to talk about their new Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform with AI, heterogeneous computing, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to learn about its applications and capabilities.
TopoDOT Helps Tackle the Terabytes
At Commercial UAV Expo, there were no shortage of solutions on the show floor that enable the collection of data for every imaginable use case. Laser scanning, mobile laser scanning and UAV imaging systems can now produce terabytes of point cloud and image data for every project. This abundance of data can have a downside, however, when it comes to data processing and management. How can this data be made into useful, actionable information? And what’s the best process that makes sense for your projects?
For TopoDOT, these difficulties were top of mind when they developed their processing software. TopoDOT is designed to extract topography, 3D models, GIS Assets, and more from point cloud data—regardless of whether it was collected by air, by hand, or by vehicle. We caught up with TopoDOT Business Development Director Jennifer Triana to get some insights into how TopoDOT software can help streamline the data management process for UAV projects and beyond.
Vayu Is Solving Long-Haul, Long-Duration Needs for the Drone Industry
Vayu Aerospace Corporation is solely focused on solving transportation problems by providing long-haul, long-duration drones. Commercial UAV News spoke with TK Eppley, President of Vayu, to learn more.
Meet Explorer, YellowScan's New Versatile Mid-Range Lidar
The news at Commercial UAV Expo Americas was not limited to new UAVs, but also included the sensor makers, who brought their latest lidars, cameras and other technology. Lidar makers YellowScan launched a new mid-range lidar sensor, which attendees got the first peek at during the “Beyond the Cage” flying demonstrations on the first day of the expo, when it was showcased on Skyfront's Perimeter 8 hybrid multirotor drone. YellowScan’s new Explorer lidar is meant to be a versatile choice that is light enough to be mounted on a UAS platform but also has the resolution and speed to be mounted on manned aircraft.
We spoke with Cliff Holle, Business Development/General Manager at YellowScan to learn more about Explorer and the rest of their lidar portfolio.