One of the largest, if not the biggest drone event in the world, called the “Xpo­nen­tial Drone Con­ven­tion”, has opened its doors this week at the Col­orado Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Den­ver, U.S. It is a Who’s Who of the drone indus­try with many lead­ing com­pa­nies exhibit­ing their wares. These include:-

A2Z Drone Deliv­ery, Dra­gan­Fly, Drone­Up, Dufour Aero­space, Elroy Air, Hon­ey­well, Embry-Rid­dle, Man­ta Air, Hon­ey­well, NuAir, Pablo Air, Ptero­Dy­nam­ics, Swoop Aero, Sky­dio and Wing to name just a few. In fact, hun­dreds of com­pa­nies cov­er­ing every aspect of the drone indus­try are attend­ing.

The event is organ­ised by AUVSI, a non­prof­it Mem­ber­ship organ­i­sa­tion ded­i­cat­ed to the Advance­ment of Uncrewed Sys­tems and Robot­ics, rep­re­sent­ing Cor­po­ra­tions and Pro­fes­sion­als from over 60 coun­tries. Edu­ca­tion is a major theme this year along­side the many oppor­tu­ni­ties for net­work­ing.

It began on Mon­day (May 8th) and con­tin­ues on until Thurs­day (May 11th). Below are typ­i­cal exam­ples of the talks, dis­cus­sions and out­door demon­stra­tions tak­ing place. The last event took place in Flori­da in 2022.

Events Planned For Wednes­day and Thurs­day

The event has gained much pub­lic­i­ty includ­ing a major fea­ture from Jour­nal­ist, Har­ri­son Wolf, dis­cuss­es how quick­ly the indus­try is pro­gress­ing even though full cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and BVLOS remains a major hur­dle to over­come. In fact, BVLOS is the Holy Grail for drone deliv­ery com­pa­nies as it offers greater eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties and a free­dom to fly longer dis­tances.

At present, only U.S‑Founded Mat­ter­net has the much desired Part 135 Cer­tifi­cate, Pro­duc­tion and Type Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for its M2 drone. Wolf points out that since news of oper­a­tional plan­ning in Abu Dhabi and the deploy­ment of land­ing hubs in Switzer­land, instead of flaunt­ing the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion suc­cess, Mat­ter­net has gone qui­et. Wolf hopes the com­pa­ny will end its silence and announce new part­ner­ships, sales, oper­a­tions or deploy­ments at Xpo­nen­tial to real­ly demon­strate that the reg­u­la­to­ry path­way the indus­try has been fol­low­ing leads to some­where.

Mean­while, he offers Zipline, the game-chang­ing and drone indus­try leader by miles, big applause for its lat­est inno­va­tions and devel­op­ments. This recent news has been cov­ered by

Har­ri­son Wolf

Wolf con­cludes his fea­ture by ask­ing a series of ques­tions. Who will be the new kid on the block steal­ing atten­tion? What tech­nol­o­gy will be the most game-chang­ing? Will we see the announce­ment of a new gov­ern­ment approval or pro­gram as has hap­pened in pre­vi­ous years? Do busi­ness­es care about pri­va­cy, local­i­sa­tion, and geo-pol­i­tics in tech­nol­o­gy as much as the DOD etc.?

Read the full fea­ture

(Top image: Pablo Air On Dis­play)