Column: New Heights, New Opportunities – Dronefest 2017
Foto: Tihomir Šašić
Tihomir Šašić, Program Manager UAS's at IN2 Group writes about this years' Dronefest, Croatian technology conference about UAVs that will be held late March in Zagreb.
At this year's conference, we will talk about challenges that potential users have when including drones into their everyday operative work as well as what they expect from future commercial solutions for unmanned aircraft.
Have we progressed during the last year in recognisability and acknowledged potential of unmanned aerial vehicles? What's the perspective of the unmanned aircraft industry? Do we know enough about the use in agriculture? What are the experiences of the companies in the region? Those are just some of the questions for which we will seek answers to at the Dronefest 2017 conference. The industry is changing rapidly and the first consequences are already visible.
For instance, French Parrot has laid off a third of their employees as a consequence of their inability to compete with Chinese manufacturers, particularly with DJI who lowered their drone prices for 70 percent in just one year. Similar thing happened with the American 3DR who switched their focus to developing application solutions for unmanned aerial vehicles while their aircraft 3DR Solo became 3DR Drone, just a part of their total solution.
A significant investment by American Intel into Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec as well as in German drone manufacturer Ascending Technologies is the first investment from other industrial segments because, to date, it was only companies within the sector who bought each other and merged. By offering their own development platform for drones, Intel Aero, the company wants to enlarge its partnership potential and open the way for new scenarios as their computer built into an unmanned aerial vehicle makes possible a number of new scenarios thanks to its real time data processing.
It is obvious that more and more users in the world transitions from the research and testing phase into the implementation phase while the first tenders for the purchase of unmanned aircraft for specific purpose have appeared here, which is a good sign that drone abilities have been recognized. What comes now is to allow a simple usage of unmanned aerial vehicles because, regardless of the attractive price, a significant number of users still don't have a comprehensive picture of the steps needed to include unmanned aircraft into operative use.
At this year's conference, we will freely talk about challenges that potential users have when including drones into their everyday operative work as well as what they expect from future commercial solutions for unmanned aircraft. The regulatory block will show what has happened during the last year regarding regulations defining the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, and the number of 313 certified operators of unmanned aircraft at the beginning of 2017 shows that their number grew for 177 new operators.
With the rise in the number of drones, there occurs the need for their detection and disablement so we will dedicate several lectures to the matter at this year's conference. We have also prepared a block of lectures about the use of unmanned aircraft in agriculture where whose interested in the matter will be able to hear all about it from both local companies and companies from the neighbouring countries.
The agriculture block is prepared in cooperation with our partner, Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. The Dronefest 2017 conference will also see the participation of representatives from the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure; Ministry of Interior of Croatia; Faculty of Agriculture Zagreb, HROTE (Croatian energy market operator); Croatian State Geodetic Administration; Croatian Civil Aviation Agency; Croatian Control (the state air control company); Snimanje.hr; Royal Military Academy of Belgium; KapetAIR, Drone Racing Team Croatia; Faculty of Geodesy Zagreb; and prof. Davor Škrlec, DSc, member of the European Parliament; as well as others.
Secure your place at the largest business and technology conference on unmanned aerial vehicles in the region, Dronefest 2017, 30-31 March, 2017. http://dronefest.in2.hr/ We wish you a safe flight!