What do Entrepreneurs in the Drone Industry Need to Know?
If you’re a regular listener to the podcast, then you know that oftentimes I ask my guests for their advice on starting and growing a drone based business. I’ve compiled the audio clips from several of my interviews into single stream of consciousness, where you can benefit from the advice in a single listen.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, we’ll hear from industry notables like Anthony Molzahn, Brendan Stewart, Lorenz Meier, Robert Dalhstrom, Michael Chasen, Josh Ziering, Alan Beach, Jono Millen and others as they share their advice to starting and building a successful business in the drone industry.
Where do you go when you need hardware solutions for your UAVs?
Bob Schmidt is the Founder and President of UAV Propulsion Tech, an unmanned aerial vehicle hardware solution provider of nearly everything having to with UAVs. The company markets global UAV technology to the defense and commercial UAV markets. These include commercial off the shelf (COTs) and custom hardware solutions that are flying on several high-end global UAV platforms.
Bob has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (rom Lawrence Technological University, a Master of Science in Administration from Central MI University, and has over 30 years industry experience in automotive propulsion/fuel systems and aerospace UAV hardware solutions. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Bob talks about UAV Propulsion Tech, the UAV hardware supply market and he provides his perspective on the growth of the drone industry.
Is it possible to deliver packages with drones under current Part 107 rules?
Today’s two guests say they already have. Both are from DroneUp, a drone services company that provides end-to-end aerial data solutions by matching a organization’s data collection and delivery needs with the right hardware, software, training, pilots, and program integration requirements. Brendan Stewart is the Training Director responsible for training and program development for enterprise and public safety clients. Joe Fuller is CIO and designs aerial data capture and processing for clients to ensure a return on investment in their drone projects.
In early April of this year, the duo led a series of tests to demonstrate package deliveries by drones under Part 107 regulations. Over the span of 3 days, the exercises focused on delivery to residential and commercial areas with the aim of identifying best practices for safe operations. In this edition of the Drone Raido Show, Brendan and Joe talk about Drone Up, the Last Mile Drone Delivery Challenge and the lessons learned from the demonstration project.
How do you make drone data actionable?
Jono Millin is co-founder and CCO of DroneDeploy, a cloud-based software company that specializes in building solutions for mapping business assets with drones. DroneDeploy powers tens of thousands of commercial drone operators from 160 countries to make automated, high-resolution 2D maps and 3D models . At Drone Deploly, Jono is responsible for the overall customer experience of the DroneDeploy platform. He has a Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Rhodes University.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show Podcast, Jono talks about DroneDeploy, the successful growth of drones in the agricultural sector and he share some insights into how make the conversation around the data to engage customers in decision making.
Learn Drone Racing Via The Internet
Marque Cornblatt is the Founder and CEO of the Aerial Sports League, a worldwide leader in drone sports, entertainment and media. Since 2015, the Aerial Sports League has has hosted over 1,000,000 spectators at live events, has earned over 8.5 million video views and over 50,000 social media followers. The League pioneered fun drone education and has taught thousands of new pilots to build & fly drones through events, meetups and STEAM education programs. The Aerial Sports League is also the founder of the Museum of Future Sports, a STEAM education organization focusing on tech enabled sports and equitable tech literacy for all kids.
In addition to being the CEO of the Aerial Sports League, Marque has created award-winning art and media for years, earning millions of social media followers and viewers. His kinetic art and short films have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Art & The San Jose Tech Museum and he recently celebrated 25 years as an artist with a major East Coast retrospective. He is often cited as a pioneering researcher in the field of telepresence robotics, and has twice been a TEDx presenter.
His latest innovation is a virtual summer drone racing boot camp that can be experienced from the safety of home, hosted, coached and taught by some of the biggest names in professional drone sports. In this edition of the drone radio show, Marque talks about the Aerial Sports League, the Virtual Drone Racing Boot Camp and the future of drone sports and entertainment.
What’s the market for long-distance drone delivery service?
Daniel Buchmueller is CTO of Volansi. Volansi builds and operates long-range, high-payload unmanned aerial systems for various applications, helping their customers save millions of dollars on down-time costs. The company operates two remote piloted drones capable of delivering payloads up to 350 miles. Before joining Volansi, Daniel was Vice President and Head of Drone Cargo at Airbus, and before that, he was co-founder of Amazon Prime Air. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Daniel talks about Volansi’s long-distance drone service, the Voly C-10 and M-20 long-distance delivery drones and how the company successfully found a niche serving clients engaged in operations located in remote areas.
Is there a better way for Enterprise Companies to manage large drone fleets?
Today’s guests believe there is. Lorenz Meier and Kevin Sartori are Co-Founders of Auterion, an enterprise drone software platform. Auterion’s goal is to be the drone software platform of choice for enterprises and drone manufacturers, while accelerating the industry by driving forward open standards to create a common, future-proof roadmap. This gives everyone involved, whether vendors or buyers, confidence that they will achieve a return on their investment, and access to a wide choice of partners and integrations in an open ecosystem.
Lorenz Meier, holds a Ph.D. in drone software architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. In 2008 Lorenz created and released the PX4 autonomous drone autopilot to the open source community. Lorenz is also the creator of Pixhawk, MAVLink and QGroundControl, today’s most commonly used flight control hardware and autopilot software. He has been working in the drone and robotics industry for the past 10 years and in 2017 was nominated MIT 35 Innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review for the development of PX4. Lorenz is also a board member and community director at Dronecode, the organization that defines the open source standards in the UAV industry.
Kevin Sartori holds a Master in Robotics from ETH Zurich and an MBA from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business and has been working in the drone industry since 2008 when he was researching optimal control algorithms as part of the early Pixhawk team at ETH Zurich. In 2014, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and joined 3D Robotics, first as an Enterprise Product Manager and later as Senior Product Marketing Manager for Site Scan. He helped the company transition from a consumer hardware company to an enterprise Software as a Service company and lead the marketing and channel sales efforts. Today at Auterion, Kevin combines his consulting skills with his knowledge of the drone industry and technology to help drone manufacturers and drone service providers adopt new technologies, change business models, and bring new products to market.
In early 2020, Auterion release Sky Node, which when combined with Auterion PX4 enables drone manufacturers to rapidly enter new markets by making their products compatible with an ecosystem of payloads, components, services, and workflow integrations. It short, it gives companies the tools they need to deploy large fleets of drones.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Lorenz and Kevin talk about Auterion’s open source platform, Sky Node and its applications and how enterprise companies can better manage a fleet of drones.
Fighting Sea Level Rise With Drones
Dania Montenegro is the Project Coordinator for Flying Labs of Latin America, based in Panama. The goal of Flying Labs is to accelerate the positive impact of local aid, health, development and environmental solutions locally. Flying Labs expand local markets by creating new jobs and businesses that offer robotics as a service and support local ecosystems. There are 24 Flying Labs located in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Labs are franchised by WeRobotics to enable local changemakers who want to build robotics and AI capacity in their countries.
Off the coast of Panama lies a tiny island called Carti Sugdub. This island, home to more than 1,000 people, is threatened by sea level rise and climate change, so much so, that in partnership with the Government of Panama, the entire community is making plans to relocate to forty acres on the mainland. Flying Labs has been ask to help in the relocation by helping to document and preserve the culture and community design. Using drones, Flying Labs is creating a digital footprint that will guide redevelopment of the community in it new location. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Dania talks about Flying Labs Panama and how drones are helping the residents of Carti Sugdub mitigate the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. Joining Dania later in the podcast is Joseph Mulihausen, Head of Drone & Data Systems at WeRobotics.
One Company's Path To BVLOS
Rob Knochenhauer is Head of UAS Regulatory & Operations at Green Sight. Green Sight provides autonomous aerial data collection hardware and data analysis software tools t o support a wide variety of industries and applications.
At Green Sight, Rob leads the development of the UAS operational scheme wherein unmanned aircraft are run at customer locations with a 107 certificated remote pilot on site who maintains visual line of sight with the drone while it flies. While the drone is flying, the operation is overwatched by another 107 certificated Remote Pilot in Green Sight’s Boston office. This is all part of Green Sight’s goal to eventually run unattended drone operations in the future.
In this edition of the drone radio show, Rob talks about Green Sight, the BVLOS waiver process and what companies need to know to prepare for fully autonomous operations.
Can a Smart City Make Flying Drones Easier and Safer?
Eben Frankenberg is CEO and Co-founder of Echodyne Corp. Echodyne is a 5-year old company that makes revolutionary compact radar sensors for a range of applications for commercial, defense, and government customers. Their high-performance radars combine patented technology and powerful, intelligent software to achieve maximum radar performance. Echodyne radars are used the Autonomous Vehicle, Perimeter and Border Security, Security Integrator, Airspace Management, UAS Service Suppliers, and commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems industries.
Eben has over 20 years of experience starting and growing technology companies. Prior to founding Echodyne, Eben was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Intellectual Ventures (IV) where he created and incubated new companies including: Echodyne Corp and several other leading startups. In this edition of the drone radio show, Eben talks about how smart cities data networks could play a role in supporting unmanned air flight operations in urban environments.
Dealing With State & Local Property Rights
Brent Skorup is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. The Center advances knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems. In addition to his role as senior research fellow, Brent is also a member of the Texas Department of Transportation’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Task Force. He has authored several articles for National Affairs, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others. He’s appeared on TV and radio for news outlets like C-SPAN, NPR, CBS News, ABC News and CNBC Asia. He has recently co-authored an article in GovTech on drones and local and state property rights and he also released an report card on which states are prepared for the drone industry. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Brent talks about these publications, how local and state property rights laws could affect where drones fly and why these units of government should become more involved in the air management discussion to better prepare themselves for the future.
Brian Streem is CEO and Founder of Vermeer, a technology company that is developing an augmented reality drone solution that enables anyone to easily capture aerial photos, videos and data. Users can design their aerial shots on their smartphones and then send it to a drone to execute autonomously in the real world. Vermeer’s solution is designed for people who want to create high-end drone photos and videos, but don’t own a drone and don’t want to buy one. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Brian talks about Vermeer, its augmented reality drone solution and how people can get the exact video or image they are seeking without ever having to fly a drone.
Can a drone help better understand sharks?
Jay Seidel is a journalism professor and media adviser at Fullerton College. He also oversees the Fullerton College Drone Technology program and is the coordinator of the Fullerton College Drone Lab. The Fullerton Drone Lab teaches students to become better and safer pilots, prepares them for the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification exam and provides hands on learning opportunities on the use drones in various industries. In 2019, the Lab partnered with the Shark Lab housed at California State University in Long Beach to capture and provide data by drones on sharks.
The goal of the Shark Lab’s study to quantify recreational water use along Southern California beaches, advance the knowledge of white shark-human interaction behaviors, and assess the risk associated with marine recreation. Prior to becoming a teacher in 2005, Jay worked for 12 years as a writer and editor for various publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Popular Hot Rodding. He earned his master’s degree in communications from Cal State University, Fullerton. And he served 11 years in the U.S. Army and California Army National Guard where he worked as an engineer and photojournalist. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Jay talks about the Fullerton College Drone Lab, collaboration with the Shark Lab to help better understand marine habitats.
Have you ever wondered how the New York City Drone Film Festival got started?
Well today’s guest gives us the inside scoop. Randy Scott Slavin is an award-winning director, photographer and aerial cinematographer and is the founder of the New York City Drone Film Festival. He is a drone expert who is regularly featured on television and in publications around the world. As a director, he is known for his use of cutting edge camera technology to further the impact of storytelling.
Randy first gained attention for racking up millions of television views and YouTube hits for brands including American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, AdWeek, Tribeca Film Festival, Sunoco, Island/Def Jam Records for which he has received multiple awards. As a surrealist photographer, his work can regularly be found in the pages of Time Magazine, Gizmodo, Mashable, The Washington Post, Fast Company Design and other publications around the world.
In 2014 Randy founded the New York City Drone Film Festival, the world's first event exclusively dedicated to celebrating the art of drone cinematography. It has experienced rapid growth since its inception, counting companies like SAMSUNG, RED, GE, NBC News, Adobe and DJI as headline sponsors. The NYCDFF includes a dynamic slate of interactive panels and a "Day of Drones" hosted at the New York City Drone Film Festival and hosts thousands of attendees over festival weekend and hundreds of millions of media impressions worldwide. In early 2020, the New York City Drone Film Festival was acquired by AirVuz.com, the premier website for drone video content. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Randy talks about the evolution of the New York City Drone Film Festival, what makes an award winning drone film and he gives us some insights into the role of drones in film making.
What are some of the advances in Counter Drone Technology?
For that question, we head to Paris, France to speak with Lucas Le Bell, CEO and Co-Founder of CerbAir. Cerbair was created to counter the alarming increase of drone intrusions on critical facilities, as well as the threat they represent. The company offers anti-drone solutions that adapt to the needs of each customer. Lucas co-founded CerbAir in 2015 with Olivier Le Blainvaux and in five years, the company has grown to provide anti-drone solutions to a large portfolio of customers worldwide. Today, it is recognized as one of the leaders in the emerging counter drone industry. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Lucas talks about Cerbair, the pros and cons of the technologies used to counter drone incursions and the challenges and opportunities in protecting critical infrastructure.
Would you like to pilot a personal flying drone?
It may not be technically be a drone, but as today’s guest shares, the new HEXA from Lift Aircraft looks and flies a lot like a drone and could usher in a whole new personal flying experience. Lift Aircraft is a venture of Matt Chasen, founder of uShip, the online shipping marketplace. Chasen and his company has developed an electric, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that is so simple to operate that anyone will be able to take it out for a spin and experience an entirely new kind of flying. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Kevin Rustigi, Director of Business Operations at LIFT Aircraft talks about company, its new HEXA ultralight vehicle and plans to offer rides to those looking for unique flying experience. We also talk about the future of personal flying vehicles.
Can A Drone Help Manage A Sailboat Race?
Dr. Tulinda Larsen is CEO and Founder of Skylark Drone Research, a technology company that empowers Fortune 500 companies with drone analytics, service providers with secure execution of flights and manufacturers with regulatory airspace compliance. Tulinda has spent more than 40 years in commercial aviation. She’s a private pilot, a Certified Part 107 Remote Pilot and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Tulinda also serves as an Advisor to Women and Drones.
Skylark Drone Research works with sailing organizations to develop drone programs designed for use of drones in sailing programs. The company worked with the Annapolis Yacht Club to develop policies and procedures for using drones for sailboat race management, coaching, yacht club events, and other applications.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Tulinda talks about how drones are used in sailboat race management and the best practices. She also shares two new exciting program offerings of Women and Drones, namely a new membership program and job boards for Women and Drone members.
How does the Commercial Drone Industry view the proposed Remote ID Rule?
Lisa Ellman is the Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, an independent 501c6 non-profit organization led by key members of the commercial drone industry. The Alliance works collectively to merge policy with innovation to create relevant rules for operation. It educates on the economic benefits and humanitarian gains made possible by commercial drones and advocates for their safe and responsible use. It also brings industry and government together to solve some of the challenges facing the industry.
Lisa is widely recognized as one of the “world’s foremost authorities” on drone policy and law. She was featured in Fortune's "Most Powerful Women" series for her efforts to develop policy governing drone use in the United States. In addition to her role with the Commercial Drone Alliance, Lisa is also a Partner at Hogan Lovells and Chair of the firm’s global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group, a “one-stop shop” for all legal and policy issues related to commercial drones.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show Podcast, Lisa talks about the Commercial Drone Alliance, its view of the proposed Remote ID rule and other initiatives the Alliance is currently involved to push the industry forward.
An Update From NASA
Today, we head to the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California to speak with Parimal Kopardekar and Misty Davies. The Ames Research Center is one of ten NASA field centers. Since 1939, Ames has led NASA in conducting world-class research and development in aeronautics, exploration technology and science aligned with the center's core capabilities. Ames Research Center supports virtually every major NASA mission and initiative through its expertise in aerosciences, air traffic management, advanced computing and IT systems and many other capabilities. Dr.
Dr. Parimal Kopardekar, or PK for short, serves as the Director of NASA Aeronautics Research Institute. In that capacity, he is responsible for exploring new trends and needs related to aviation in the areas of autonomy, aeronautics manufacturing, and advanced air mobility. Dr. Misty Davies is Deputy Project Manager for NASA’s System-Wide Safety Project. Her work is focused on predicting the behavior of complex, engineered systems early in design as a way to improve these systems' safety, reliability, performance, and cost.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, PK and Misty give us an update on the work NASA is doing to support unmanned aerial systems, they talk about the challenges of developing autonomous systems and they provide some insights into NASA’s Grand Challenge for Urban Air Mobility.
What’s the outlook for the drone industry?
That’s the question we explore in my continuing series of interviews with industry analysts, writers and editors. In this series, I interview guests with diverse opinions and perspectives on the industry. They provide a range of insights on some of the industry’s current topics and trends. By the end of the series, you should have a good sense of where industry is going and how you can position yourself to take advantage.
Michael Blades is Vice President for Frost & Sullivan’s Aerospace, Defense, and Security America's Region. Frost & Sullivan is a business consulting firm involved in market research and analysis, growth strategy consulting and corporate training across multiple industries. Michael has been with Frost & Sullivan for over six years as a market analyst and growth consultant and has earned a Masters Degree in Aerospace Operations as well as an MBA. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Michael talks about some of the current trends shaping the industry and what to look forward to in 2020.
Where can you go to connect with the latest advancements in the drone industry?
Brian Wynne is president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. AUVSI represents more than 7,500 members from more than 60 countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets. Before joining AUVSI in 2015, Brian served for 10 years as president and CEO of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the trade association promoting battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure. Brian is a graduate of the University of Scranton and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne in Germany. He is also a general aviation pilot with a commercial certificate and has a Remote Pilots License. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Brian talks about AUVSI, the upcoming Xponential 2020 and why we should attend and he tells us what to look for 2020 in the drone industry.
How Will We Manage Autonomous UAV Fleets?
Nitin Gupta is the Founder and CEO of FlytBase, a Silicon Valley startup that offers an enterprise drone automation platform to power large scale deployments of intelligent autonomous UAV fleets. The hardware-agnostic IoT platform features intelligent plugins at the edge, cloud-based real-time fleet management, and APIs for seamless integration with business workflows. FlytBase is working with a large number of enterprise customers spread across US and Europe, helping them deploy fully automated drone applications for public-safety/security, warehouses, and inspections.
Nitin has over 15 years of experience in the automation and aerial robotics industry. Before founding FlytBase, he worked with multiple startups and with Samsung electronics. He has extensive background in aerospace control systems, robotics and automation. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Nitin talks about FlytBase, the challenges of building a system to manage autonomous fleets and he shares his thoughts on the future of the drone industry.
The Drone Industry in 2020
Lisa Murray is the event director for Diversified Communications, an international media company with more than 15 years’ experience in producing world-renowned events for precision measurement professionals. If you’re in this field, then you have most likely have attended one of their events, including SPAR 3D Conference & Expo, the International Lidar Mapping Forum, the Commercial UAV Expo or Amsterdam Drone Week. Her experience with Diversified Communications gives her a unique vantage point on commercial drone industry, the companies making a difference and the people creating change. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Lisa talks about the Commercial UAV Expo and Amsterdam Drone Week, the global trends shaping these shows and the issues and opportunities driving the commercial drone sector.
Are RF Detection Systems Effective In Stopping Drones?
Linda Ziemba is founder and CEO of AeroDefense, a New Jersey-based company that provides a proven drone detection solution for locating a drone and pilot simultaneously. The technology is named AirWarden™, and it uses passive radio frequency detection methods to detect and locate known and unknown drones without demodulating or decoding signals. The Department of Homeland Security recently recognized AirWarden with a Developmental Testing and Evaluation SAFETY Act Designation. The designation provides AirWarden users, who choose to take advantage, full immunity from liability claims alleging technology failure in the event of a terror attack. AirWarden is the first and only drone detection solution to be on the DHS SAFETY Act “approved technologies” list. AirWarden is currently deployed at MetLife Stadium and correctional facilities in Georgia and Massachusetts.
Linda’s experience spans internet security, telecommunications and entrepreneurship, at companies including Websense, Secure Computing, Finjan, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. Prior to founding AeroDefense in 2015, she served as a key executive for LiveLOOK, a collaboration software company. Linda’s leadership across sales, marketing, and general operations resulted in numerous contracts with global financial services, telecommunications and computer firms, and ultimately acquisition by Oracle in 2014.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Linda talks about the company's proven AirWarden technology, how AeroDefense pivoted to stay within Federal regulations for Counter UAS and the challenges and opportunities of creating a Counter UAS company.
How can enterprise companies better manage their drone operations?
Uzayr Siddiqui is founder and CEO of Drone Entry. Drone Entry is a ventured backed drone startup, that provides an online platform Software as a tool. The tool provides enterprise companies with a ERP layer to build workflow compliance management between data processing tools and airspace management systems to effectively scale and manage their operations. Drone Entry also helps drone pilots build their career, and build their credibility with other stakeholders in the industry. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Uzayr talks about the Drone Entry platform and how the company pivoted from a pilot-centric business to focus on serving the growing enterprise business sector.