Drones Among Top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2015

Technology is arguably the greatest change agent in the modern world. While never without risk, technological developments ensure innovative solutions to the most urgent challenges of our generation.

Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum issued its list of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2015. The World Economic Forum is the international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation.

With 2015 more than half over, I thought it might be good to revisit this list.

  1. Fuel cell vehicles
  2. Next-generation robotics
  3. Recyclable thermoset plastics
  4. Precise genetic engineering techniques
  5. Additive manufacturing
  6. Emergent artificial intelligence
  7. Distributed manufacturing
  8. “Sense and avoid” drones
  9. Neuromorphic technology
  10. Digital genome

To create this list, the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, a panel of 18 experts, drew on the shared knowledge of the Forum’s communities to recognize the world’s most critical and timely technological developments.

The purpose of this effort is to raise awareness about the vast impact of these 10 technologies and to close the gaps in investment, regulation and public understanding that so often impede progress.

Number 8, “Sense and Avoid” drones, is the next stage in UAV development that will transform drones from remotely flying aircraft (aircraft with human pilots on the ground) to machines that fly themselves. This opens them up to a much wider range of applications.

This means drones must be able to sense and respond to their local environment, altering their height and flying trajectory in order to avoid colliding with other objects in their path.

I will discuss this in more detail in a coming post. In the meantime, read up on the “Top 10” list at https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/03/top-10-emerging-technologies-of-2015-2