The Valmie team and I had an amazing time at Unmanned Systems 2015. After meeting thought leaders and viewing the endless possibilities in the industry, we agree with a session speaker who stated that this industry can’t be held back: drones and robotics are poised to transform the way we live.
There was no lack of inspiration. We heard keynoter Prof. Hugh Herr who discussed his work on melding biological and mechanical research in his new lab at MIT. After losing both legs to frostbite during a climbing mission, he was told he would never climb again and his disability would prevent him from daily life activities such as driving a car.
Herr renounced the diagnosis and went on to fashion a new set of legs that allow him not only to drive but also to climb again. This kind of “wearable robotics” could mean the end of many “disabilities.”
From the standpoint of drones the market is set to explode. Among the high points of the conference was the opening of a dialogue between industry and the FAA, which we expect will be the beginning of expanding UAV operations in the national airspace. I’ll talk more about this in a future post.
Additional examples of drones in action (from countless others):
Google X’s Google Wing UAS delivery program, which is being tested in Australia for package delivery.
Breathtaking drone-shot footage of the White Cliffs of Dover in the U.K. and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The network is working with researchers at Georgia Tech to use small UAS for news imagery.
The Atlas All Terrain Land and Air Sphere – it looks like something straight out of Star Wars. But rather than hunt down rebels, this thing is meant to save lives – and between the IR camera (for seeing through smoke) and that crash resistant shell, it’s easy to imagine it doing just that in the not-too-distant future.
Check back for more exciting news!