Opinion

OPINION: How high-tech monocles can solve the camera feed viewing dilemma for drone operators

As UK regulations tighten around drone safety, Andy Johnson, head of product and solutions management at business technology solutions provider Brother UK, explains how monocular head mounted display (HMD) technology is helping commercial drone pilots to comply with regulation, and to position drones while viewing camera feeds simultaneously. Regulatory bodies have fallen behind the UK’s rapidly expanding drone industry in recent years. But last month’s new drone laws coming into force was a sign that authorities are beginning to step up the pace – much to the delight of commercial drone pilots, with many in the industry rightly believing that
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OPINION: Consortiq’s Paul Rigby debunks drone industry myths

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When bespoke unmanned vehicles specialist Consortiq first opened its doors in 2015, it set out with the ambition of carving out a position as one of the UK’s leading pilot training entities. In the three years that have passed since the company took flight, CEO Paul Rigby has been well-placed to observe some of the main misnomers that challenge the industry. Here he explains how drones can be serious business and where the industry is heading. Let’s be clear about one thing. Drones are not just for enthusiasts — they’re also for serious business. But there are a few preconceptions
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OPINION: How the drone attack on the Venezuelan President could have been prevented

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The recent assassination attempt against the President of Venezuela has underlined the importance of drone detection systems. News broke on Sunday that President Nicolás Maduro survived an assassination attempt involving explosive drones while speaking at a military event in Caracas. According to the BBC, communications minister Jorge Rodriguez said two drones loaded with explosives went off near the president’s stand. Leeds-based drone specialist, Coptrz, DJI's AeroScope, which is designed to identify drones which enter the protected airspace, is a suitable system for major events, and would have been a helpful addition to Sunday's event. Steve Coulson, managing director and founder
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EXCLUSIVE: Fortem’s Tim Bean sheds light on protecting the world’s airspace

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Radar technology is the key to ensuring safe drone operations as UAVs become more prominent around the world, claims Fortem CEO. Following the assignation attempt against the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, on Sunday, Tim Bean, the CEO of Fortem Technologies and expert on airspace safety and security relative to drones, provides insight into protecting the global airspace. Threats drones present Drones present an imminent threat to sensitive ”no fly zones” not properly secured. The recent assassination attempt on President Maduro presents an unfortunate example of the potential harm that can be caused and the need for increased airspace awareness
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: The drone pilot behind nationally-acclaimed Norfolk rescue mission

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Sergeant Danny deployed a UAV last week to search for Peter Pugh, after his family raised the alarm when he did not return home from a walk. Sgt Leach, who was flying a DJI Inspire I, spotted Mr Pugh stuck in a dense reed beds and marshland and was credited with saving his life. Following the rescue, which was a collaboration with Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Commercial Drone Professional spoke to the sergeant about the mission, as well as how drones have already aided the force and how he sees potential for growth. What equipment and software did you use
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Airbus Aerial president, Jesse Kallman

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A year on from its launch, Airbus Aerial has managed to carve out a position as one of the organisations driving market within the commercial drone space. Jesse Kallman, president of Airbus Aerial, a new business unit within Airbus, the global heavyweight in space and aeronautics, stepped into the role last May. Over the course of his career, Kallman has worked across various parts of the industry including research at Georgia Tech, federal policy at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial UAS business at Airware, and advocacy with groups such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Kallman told
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Consortiq’s Miriam Hinthorn on cracking the UAV industry’s glass ceiling

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A lack of women working within the UAV industry has been offered as an explanation for the double-digit pay gaps revealed in recent weeks. Ahead of April deadline, by which time any private sector company with more than 250 employees needs to publish data on their gender pay gap, along with details on the proportion of male and female employees and their gender bonus gap, a selection of key players within the drone industry have disclosed pay gaps of approximately 20%. Alongside the disclosure of the mean and median difference in pay, it has also been revealed that men occupy
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OPINION: Has Artificial Intelligence really arrived in the commercial drone world?

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As the technology industry continues to debate the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it could alter the drone sector, Sky-Futures’ co-founder and COO Chris Blackford offers industry insight about the development in relation to UAV use… There is chatter aplenty on Linkedin and other media sources about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its application in the drone-based inspection and data analysis market. The purpose of this blog is to dispel some of the myths and shine a bit of light on the realities of AI. I am the co-founder of a drone-based technology company but my background is not
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: James Pick, Coptrz’ business development manager

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UK-based commercial drone specialist Coptrz first entered the professional UAV sector just under two years ago and has successfully carved out a place as one of Britain’s top drone firms. The company, which covers a raft of drone-based solutions, including software, training and support apps, is constantly on the lookout for new applications for UAVs. Coptrz’ business development manager, James Pick, tells Commercial Drone Professional about the company’s strategic plans for growth and how the UAV landscape has shifted in the last 18 months. What was it 18 months ago that bought Coptrz to the industry? The two owners, Steve
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Clamp down on ‘unqualified, unsafe and uninsured’ pilots will see industry blossom, says UAV pilot

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With little time to go until the UK government is set to impose stricter regulations on UAV flying, drone operators have been predicting how the changing regulations will impact the sector. One pilot that has weighed in on the debate is Ian Titchener, founder of Ely Aviation. Titchener has predicted that with more stringent restriction, the industry will see a decrease in the amount of unqualified, unsafe and uninsured pilots cashing in on commissioned work. While Titchener acknowledges that not all unqualified pilots are knowingly offending, with many casually stating ‘a friend who will do it for a beer’ and
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