Isabella | UAV Coach

InterDrone Keynote Speakers Include Over One Dozen UAV Visionaries

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Emerald Expositions, the largest operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States, announced today the InterDrone keynote lineup, comprised of industry heavy hitters including Acting FAA Administer Daniel K. Elwell and PrecisionHawk CEO Michael Chasen for the Grand Opening Keynotes, as well as DJI Enterprise. InterDrone will take place at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, September 5 – 7. The Grand Opening Keynotes will take place on the morning of Wednesday, September 5.

InterDrone is also host to keynotes from the following industry experts:

- Chris Anderson, CEO of 3DR
- Trent Casi, Enterprise Sales Executive - North America at Pix4D
- Frank DeMartin, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Yuneec USA, Inc.
- Romeo Durscher, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI and Mario Rebello,
Government Relations, Policy & Legal Professional at DJI
- Dr. Greg Crutsinger, Founder of Scholar Farms
- Jim Loveland, Founder and CEO of Loveland Innovations
- Greg McNeal, Co-Founder of AirMap
- Lorenz Meier, Co-Founder of Auterion
- Joseph Rios, Chief Engineer for NASA’s UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Project
- Judith Sherman, Chief of HIV and AIDS at UNICEF Malawi
- Lorraine Tighe, Senior Imagery and Remote Sensing Product Strategy and Marketing
Lead at Esri
- Matt Wade, Head of Marketing, Parrot Business Solutions

The show this year will feature more than 120 sessions, panel discussions, and keynotes conducted by renowned industry experts, covering numerous commercial drone applications.
The Exhibit Hall will showcase the latest hardware, software, and drone accessories from leading manufacturers and innovators.

If you're considering going to InterDrone this year, check out our article "18 Reasons to Attend InterDrone 2018." Also keep an eye out for UAV Coach team members, as this will be our fourth year attending the conference. 

About InterDrone

InterDrone, The International Drone Conference and Exposition, is where the commercial UAV
industry comes together. InterDrone allows drone pilots and buyers to connect with other drone
pilots, service providers, UAS engineers and developers, UAV manufacturers, videographers,
and enterprise UAV end-users at the largest, commercially-dedicated UAV event.

Website: https://www.interdrone.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterDroneExpo/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/interdroneexpo

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I'm not really that interested in what the exhibitors had to say as I am in what the attendees say about the event.

Exhibitors like AirWare make all kinds of claims at trade shows, the overwhelming majority of them are just wrong  A great example of that is the way Yuneec and 3DR have spun their announcement.  Yuneec is just as much a Chinese manufactured UAV and is just as banned from federal infrastructure and military as DJI.  The fact they they are a founding member of DroneCode, which most people have no idea what it is, is irrelevant and the partnership between Yuneec and 3DR  is as meaningless as the partnership between 3DR and DJI.

Aside from the hype this trade show doesn't appear to have any legs, I've been unable to find any meaningful discussion between attendees anywhere.  Thats the reason for my question.    

 

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@Av8Chuck

I was able to attend InterDrone for the first time this year, and found that there was a lot to gain if you work with drones in public safety or provide inspection services. The hour-long sessions held throughout the day provided many cases studies and examples of operating procedures for drone pilots in these industries. It was nice to see people sharing their experiences on the job with others so they could learn from each other's mistakes and successes. Another area in which I was able to learn a lot was on the regulatory front, with the main keynote delivered by FAA Acting Administrator, Daniel Elwell. 

If your interest is in assessing new types of hardware and software, the exhibit hall may have also peaked your interest. 

As far as critiques go, this year's conference in particular may have had fewer takeaways for pilots in real estate marketing or photography/videography, as I didn't see as many sessions around those topics or feel that there were many pilots present from those industries. (Not to say that there was nothing to gain as a real estate marketer or creative drone operator, but that there was just a smaller focus on these verticals). 

Overall, I thought the conference was executed very well. It would be experienced differently for each person based on their interests and what goals they attend the conference with. These were just a few of my personal insights at the conference, and I hope it sheds some light on what it was like to attend InterDrone this year. 

Best,

Isabella 

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On 9/19/2018 at 9:00 AM, Av8Chuck said:

Yuneec is just as much a Chinese manufactured UAV and is just as banned from federal infrastructure and military as DJI.

That surprised me too. Ok, Yuneec's H520 apparently is based on the PX4 flight stack which is open source but I imagine that they added code that we can't review and anyway the hardware is manufactured in China.

Although Parrot is not a US company its not a Chinese but rather European so I wonder if they are also banned from use by the US government and military. From what I understand the Parrot group of of companies includes PIX4D and Sensefly  so they have all the pieces, drones, sensors and post processing software for end to end solutions.

Edited by Spitfire76

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At the moment ALL cots are banned from the military - accept one...

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/291688/unmanned-aerial-systems-provide-navy-opportunity-enhance-fleet-readiness

sorry for the shameless self promotion.  Although Parrot is a French company doesn’t mess its drones aren’t manufactured in China.  Autel is an American company and their drones are manufactured if China.  

Tbe issue is being able to certify your supply-chain. It’s next to impossible to accomplish that certification on Chinese products.  

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On 9/21/2018 at 8:16 AM, Av8Chuck said:

sorry for the shameless self promotion.

No worries, I saw you other shameless posts on this project with the US Navy but really impressive!. 

On 9/21/2018 at 8:16 AM, Av8Chuck said:

At the moment ALL cots are banned from the military - accept one...

Is it just the military or is it for any government agency ?.

On 9/21/2018 at 8:16 AM, Av8Chuck said:

Although Parrot is a French company doesn’t mess its drones aren’t manufactured in China

Good point.

On 9/21/2018 at 8:16 AM, Av8Chuck said:

Autel is an American company and their drones are manufactured if China

You are right, Autel Robotics is an American Company but their parent company is Autel Intelligent Technology in China.

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1 minute ago, Spitfire76 said:

Is it just the military or is it for any government agency ?

The ban comes from the DoD so it doesn't directly effect many of the other agencies.  However, we are prohibited from flying any DJI technology over critical infrastructure, what is generally referred to as a NERC facility - https://www.nerc.com/Pages/default.aspx

Also keep in mind that the ban extends to the US Army Corps of Engineers which manages about 2/3 of federal civil infrastructure.  So although the ban might not directly apply to a particular facility of utility, most just want to avoid the issue altogether.  

14 minutes ago, Spitfire76 said:

You are right, Autel Robotics is an American Company but their parent company is Autel Intelligent Technology in China.

I think most of the Chinese drone manufacturers realize that their influence in the commercial market (here in the US) is being greatly diminished and are looking for these types of corporate vail's.  It doesn't do them any good because large enterprise companies and government agencies are very sensitive to the supply chain. If the supply chain leads to a Chinese manufacturer then it doesn't really matter where the company is incorporated or if they partner with an American company.

Before all the DJI sycophants tar and feather me, I'm not saying DJI sales aren't good or that their products suck, that's for you to decide, but even without the ban many of the enterprise companies we're working with had already discarded the idea of using DJI drones anyway.  DJI certainly had an opportunity but they messed around far too long and put too many obstacles in the way of professionals solving the problems they care about.  No body cares about the drone and DJI just doesn't get it.

For us, we couldn't care less, DJI has no effect on us.  The only reason I still bring it up is in the hope that people who read this won't go out and purchase a $15K M200 only to learn that they can't use it. 

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Yeah that's been in the works for quite a while.  Although the SOLO was manufactured in China, the Pixhawk is/was the most popular civil flight controller amongst the US military and federal agencies.  

I think this an indication of how much confusion the ban has created and more importantly what lengths agencies will go to NOT by DJI.

3DR has not manufactured the SOLO in more than two years so I don't see how they could fulfill on this agreement.

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DJI certainly seems to be trying to out market the truth.  I'm guessing Drone Girl really likes her relationship with DJI.

A couple of things, first I couldn't care less if the Air Force wants to purchase 35 MAVIC's, they can't and no amount of this "fake" news is going to change that.  Second, they compare the MAVIC Pro to a Tiny Whoop - which is more of a toy than the DJI, the Ebee - which is a fixed wing, and a 3DR SOLO which hasn't been manufactured in two years.  Kind of a false choice don't you think?  

Finally, “Until there is a viable alternative that provides the same capabilities, the 720th OSS will continue to pursue use of this airframe due to the training requirements and limitations surrounding approved equipment,”

And just so people understand, DJI was not banned just for the cyber-security issue.  If the US and China get into a shoving match, DJI has the capability to make it so that none of the drones the military purchases will arm.  Its isn't the fact that it can phone home, its the fact that they built JSPush (and whatever else they could think up) into their firmware.   

This is literally propaganda from DJI.  They seem to be putting it out everywhere.  

 

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On 9/24/2018 at 8:20 AM, Av8Chuck said:

3DR has not manufactured the SOLO in more than two years so I don't see how they could fulfill on this agreement.

With 3DR's fire sale of the Solo at Best Buys sometime ago I agree it is a wonder that they have any left but this link was tweeted by them today. 

https://3dr.com/resources/customer-stories/us-department-of-the-interior/

Their joint venture with Yuneec has to be an attempt to keep these contracts and obviously replace the Solo with the H520-G

https://3dr.com/blog/yuneec-government-services/

The H520 Flight Controller firmware is already based on the open source PX4 stack and it looks like this G version has been developed, assuming by 3DR, as a special secure version for the government and so possibly accepted by the DOI even though the hardware is Chinese. 

Edited by Spitfire76

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6 hours ago, Spitfire76 said:

With 3DR's fire sale of the Solo at Best Buys sometime ago I agree it is a wonder that they have any left but this link was tweeted by them today. 

The issue is that 3DR doesn't have the capability to manufacture any SOLO's.  I don't even think they still own the Intellectual to outsource it.  So any organization that purchases technology that is not longer supported or manufactured needs to hold the people who made this decision accountable.

6 hours ago, Spitfire76 said:

The H520 Flight Controller firmware is already based on the open source PX4 stack and it looks like this G version has been developed, assuming by 3DR, as a special secure version for the government and so possibly accepted by the DOI even though the hardware is Chinese. 

Nope.  3DR has little influence on the development of PX4 or Ardupilot.  The whole PX4/DroneCode has gone into an entirely different direction lead by Lorenze, not 3DR.  Not a fan.

Also Ardupilot IS secure.  The issue is the firmware, if the firmware is "closed" and its on a drone made in China its not going to pass.  Although Lorenze claims PX4 is open source, I don't believe the firmware on the Yuneec is open.  The PX4 license agreement allows companies to customize the firmware for commercial purposes and not check it back in.  

This was the issue that caused the split with Ardupilot.  I'm glad to see that Ardupilot is doing well, much better than DroneCode and PX4. 

Sometimes you can tell what people are doing not by what they say but by who they invite to their party.  The fact that AirMap is a Gold sponsor of DroneCone makes them a wolf in DJI clothing.     

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13 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

The whole PX4/DroneCode has gone into an entirely different direction lead by Lorenze, not 3DR.  Not a fan.

I see that Lorenze Meier recently co-founded a company called Auterion 

https://auterion.com

and raised $10M in a seed round

https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/04/auterion/

Looks like they want to be to PX4 as Redhat is to Linux.

13 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

I'm glad to see that Ardupilot is doing well, much better than DroneCode and PX4. 

I have always used Ardupilot/Arducopter in my UAV builds and actually have never tried the PX4 stack. There seems to be a much better community with Ardupilot. Also with their move from Nuttx to ChibiOS as the under lying RTOS its opened up a whole new set of hardware that Ardupilot can run on.  

 

 

 

Edited by Spitfire76

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1 hour ago, Spitfire76 said:

Looks like they want to be to PX4 as Redhat is to Linux.

Isn't that supposed to be DroneCode?    

1 hour ago, Spitfire76 said:

I see that Lorenze Meier recently co-founded a company called Auterion

This press release looks remarkably similar to the initial AirWare press release and they raised over $100M.  Why does Auterion thinks they can succeed with $10M  where AirWare failed with the same claim? 

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