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Drone Radio Show

The Drone Radio Show is a weekly podcast about drones and the people who use them for business, fun and research. Our guests share how they’re using drones to make a positive impact, build a business, lessons they’ve learned and insights that you can use to take YOUR interest in drones to the next level.
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Oct 19, 2021

What are AgEagle’s plans to serve the Drone Industry?

Brandon Torres Declet is CEO of AgEagle, a leading provider of full-stack drone solutions for customers worldwide in the energy, construction, agriculture, and government verticals.   The company designs and delivers best-in-class drones, sensors, and software that solve significant problems.  Prior to being named Chief Executive Officer of AgEagle, Brandon co-founded and was CEO at Measure, an aerial intelligence company that builds software to automate drone operations workflows. In April 2021, Measure was acquired by AgEagle, and Brandon was named Chief Operating Officer of the Company and was elected to the Board of Directors.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Brandon talks about AgEagle, current customer needs and overall trends in the drone industry. 

Oct 6, 2021

Is India the next hot spot for unmanned business?

Ankit Mehta is Co-founder & CEO of ideaForge, India’s largest manufacturer of drones for defense, homeland security and industrial applications. Founded in 2007, the company has a consistent market share of over 90% in the Security & Surveillance segment. It is also the first company to indigenously develop and manufacture Vertical Take-off and Landing UAVs in India. IdeaForge is the pioneer in the UAV industry in India and has multiple IPs to its credit, including the then world’s lightest autopilot in 2009.  The company has deployed over 1000 systems and has trained more than 1400 pilots in defense, public safety and security.  The company is continually innovating and experimenting to transform its aerial platforms, to offer greater performance, higher reliability and autonomy.

At ideaForge, Ankit is leading the charge to deliver cutting-edge technology that is Made-in-India and second to none.  One of those innovations is the IdeaForge SWITCH UAV, a first of its kind VTOL and fixed wing hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. SWITCH features advanced flight time, higher safety and simple operation with additional fail-safe redundancies.  It is used for long duration operations, long endurance surveillance and security, inspection and photogrammetry. It is so good, the Indian Army selected the Switch above all others earlier this year to strengthen its unmanned presence.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Ankit talks about IdeaForge, the Switch UAV and how the company became India’s leading drone manufacturer.

Sep 21, 2021

How can small drone companies use their experience to tap into larger businesses opportunities?

Rolf Schlub is founder of TerraCam, a drone services company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. TerraCam was founded in 2012 to satisfy the growing trend of remote sensing in industries such as mining, land surveying, construction, urban development, security and agriculture. The company is one of the first operators of commercial drones in Africa.  It started delivering drone services directly to customers, but today, TerraCam specializes in the integration of professional drone solutions for clients wanting to establish their own in-house drone capabilities. After the integration, clients can independently conduct on demand aerial surveys, aerial photography, blast filming, mine maps and much more.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Rolf talks about TerraCam and how it successfully transitioned from a direct service provider to an integrator.

Sep 7, 2021

Can small UAS businesses thrive in this changing industry?

Today’s guest has proven they can.  Matt Dunlevy is founder of SkySkopes, an unmanned aircraft systems flight operations company based in Grand Forks, North Dakota.   SkySkopes is a professional service provider with a highly qualified operations and geospatial team. They operate a wide variety of advanced sensors and aircraft for transmission and distribution line inspections, oil and gas applications, and many other innovative use cases that focus on adding value.

Matt founded SkySkopes in 2014 and secured the first FAA permission to fly UAS for business in North Dakota.  Since then, he has success sfully navigated the company’s growth through the changes and evolution of the drone industry.  A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Matt has taught numerous UAS courses at the University of North Dakota such as UAS Business, UAS Engineering, and UAS Ethics.

Matt was also one of my guests on the first year of the Drone Radio Show podcast.  At that time, the company was only about 1 year old and just starting to find its way in the energy sector.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Matt returns to talks about Sky Scopes, how the company has grown over the past 7 years and the lessons learned in creating a drone-based energy services company.

Aug 24, 2021

Can a drone help to speed up the flight check of landing systems at airports?

For that question, we head to Chelaybinsk, Russia to talk with Vitaly Munirov,  CEO of Cursir, a Russian based company that produces innovative drone-based solutions for flight inspection of navigation and landing systems at airports. The company uses UAVs to calibrate, check and configure navigation aids at Russian airports resulting in huge cost savings to air traffic management organizations. 

 

Cursir was founded in 2015 as a spin-off project of Russian landing and navigation systems manufacturer RTS Union.  Vitaly has 14 years of experience in the aviation industry.  Prior to leading Cursir, Vitaly spent several years as the chief of the research and development department.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Vitaly talks about Cursir, its innovative flight inspection system and how it will transform air management operations. 

Joining Vitaly will be Lena Nimchenko and Aleksandr Shushkov, both part of the Cursir team.

Aug 10, 2021
Can a Drone Become a Lineman’s Best Friend?
 
Michael Beiro is founder and CEO of Linebird, a Richmond, VA startup created in 2018 with a mission to make live-line work safer and more accessible with the power of unmanned systems. Linebird developed a patent-pending method for taking contact measurements of live transmission infrastructure using drones carrying modified linemen tools.  Their solution drastically improves the safety and cost factors of utility inspection and maintenance, allowing existing manned utility crews to focus on higher value and lower risk operations. 

Michael holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s been working on Linebird for over 3 years and is a proud member of Richmond, VA’s startup ecosystem. As CEO, Michael leads research, development, and commercialization along with fundraising, IP strategy, and customer discovery efforts. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Michael talks about Linebird, its innovative method for using drones to measure live wire electric currents, and how the technology can dramatically improve safety and ROI.

Jul 27, 2021

Where Can American Drone Companies Go To innovate?

Preston Huntington is the Client Relations Manager at Xelevate Solutions, the mid-atlantic regions premier UAS Center of Excellence located in Leesburg, VA. With on-location labs, and varied operational areas, Xelevate offers innovators and operators a safe location to mature unmanned products, policies, and procedures in any industry.

Prior to Xelevate, Preston served as a Program Analyst at the United States Marshal’s Procurement HQ team working side-by-side with law enforcement contractors. His career has also seen him serve in various roles in the higher education industry eventually becoming the Director of Admissions at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government & Public Service in Washington D.C.  Preston has a Masters in International Relations and a Bachelors in History from Norwich.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Preston introduces us to the Xelevate UAS Center of Excellence, and shares how the center can help strengthen American position and presence in the drone industry.

Jul 20, 2021

How can LIDAR provide value to organizations?

Lukas Fraser is a LiDAR Specialist at the Geospatial Group of NV5. NV5 is a provider of engineering and consulting services to public and private sector clients. With offices nationwide and abroad, NV5 helps clients plan, design, build, test, certify, and operate projects that improve the communities where we live and work.

At NV5, Lukas creates engineering-grade 3D mapping products  from LiDAR imagery.  He specializes in the collection and analysis of topographic and topo-bathymetric LiDAR data . He turns raw datasets into useful information such as AutoCAD drawings and surfaces, GIS databases, or online interactive web maps. 

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Lukas talks about the process to collect LiDAR and image data with UAVs, how that data is analyzed, and then how products are created that provide value to clients

Jul 13, 2021

Can a drone listen for missing people?

Macarena Varela is a researcher at Fraunhofer FKIE, a German research organization with 72 institutes spread throughout Germany, each focusing on different fields of applied science.  With 29,000 employees, mostly comprised of scientists and engineers, it is the biggest organization for applied research and development services in Europe.

Macarena has been with Fraunhofer since 2007.  She studied Electrical Engineering at Laval University in Canada and she has a Masters and a PhD in Computer Science at University of Bonn.  Her recent project involves a system that can fly over disaster areas and help pinpoint the sounds of people who are screaming for help.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Macarena talks about the institute’s Crow Nest Array and the use drones equipped with microphones to ring missing people in distress. 

Joining Macarena is Kai Nuernberger who since 2013 has been on the Board of Management at Fraunhofer leading strategy and business development.  Kai Studied Linguistics at University of Berlin, University of Marburg, and University College Wales.  He has a PhD in English Literature at University of Marburg,

Jul 6, 2021

Can drones be used to count birds?

Maddie Hayes is a Remote Sensing Analyst at the Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab. The Lab promotes interdisciplinary research using unmanned aircraft systems and other small robotic platforms.  Maddie’s research focuses on the applications of artificial intelligence and GIS to analyze drone imagery. 

She is currently using deep learning frameworks and remote sensing theory for seabird population assessments and water quality analysis.  Maddie graduated from the University of Vermont in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and Geospatial Technologies. Before joining the Lab, Maddie worked at the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab, where she researched the use of drone imagery and object-based image analysis for aquatic invasive species classification. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Maddie talks about using drones to automate counts of huge seabird colonies in the Falkland Islands.

Jun 22, 2021

Can Blockchain Play a Role in Securing Drone Data?

Jeff Thompson is CEO and founder of Red Cat and Henry Ines is Chief Operating Office at GoChain. 

Red Cat is the leading provider of distributed data storage, analytics and services for the growing recreational and commercial drone industry. They’ve created the industry’s first black box flight recorder that pilots, regulators, and insurance companies can rely on for secure flight data.

GoChain is a leading provider of scalable, low-cost blockchain solutions. They have partnered with some of the largest data networks in the world, including AWS, IBM and Microsoft and serve clients ranging from innovative, high impact startupst to Fortune 200 companies.

Jeff and Henry have long history of success in their respective fields. Jeff is a serial tech entrepreneur, primarily in the telecom space, where he created and led companies from startup to successfully exits and IPOs. Henry has more than 20 years experience as a Venture Capitalist, global executive, advisor and as an entrepreneur. 

Last year, Red Cat announced a partnership GoChain to integrate its blockchain black box and distributed storage system onto the GoChain platform, which will enable Red Cat to immediately and easily deliver its technology to customers with speed and scale.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Jeff and Henry talk about Red Cat and GoChain, how blockchain technology secures drone data, and how this technology could answer the critical question surrounding privacy and security of drone data.

Jun 15, 2021

What’s the best way to scale enterprise drone operations?

Yariv Geller is CEO and co-founder of vHive, a software solution company that helps enterprises digitize their field assets and operations using autonomous drone hives. Its end-to-end solution produces 2D and 3D Digital Twins of assets.  It then uses AI to produce analytics and operational insights.

Yariv brings years of expertise in developing markets for innovative products, technology strategy and execution. He was previously CMO of Comverse, a large IT corporation in the telecom industry. Before that, Yuriv managed marketing and business development of Polychromix, a technology startup in the domain of advanced material sensing. He holds degrees in Physics and Business Administration from Tel-Aviv University and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Yuriv talks about vHive, the company’s autonomous multi-drone solution and how it can help scale enterprise drone operations. 

Jun 8, 2021

What’s happening in the Drone Industry today?

Michael Blades is Vice President of Aerospace, Defense and Security Americas Region for Frost of Sullivan   Frost and Sullivan provides a comprehensive range of research services and state-of-the-art analytical tools to enable decision-makers to use marketing information in more innovative and meaningful ways.  Michael is an experienced military aviator with expertise in world-wide aerospace operations. He is an expert in researching and analyzing the military, civil, and commercial unmanned systems ecosystems as well as markets related to defense training and simulation programs and technologies.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Michael talks about some of the current trends in the drone industry.  This is the second of two interviews with Michael on the drone industry. Today we cover drone delivery, urban air mobility, key trends to look for and a couple of surprises in the drone industry.

Jun 1, 2021

What’s happening in the Drone Industry today?

Michael Blades is Vice President of Aerospace, Defense and Security Americas Region for Frost of Sullivan   Frost and Sullivan provides a comprehensive range of research services and state-of-the-art analytical tools to enable decision-makers to use marketing information in more innovative and meaningful ways.  Michael is an experienced military aviator with expertise in world-wide aerospace operations. He is an expert in researching and analyzing the military, civil, and commercial unmanned systems ecosystems as well as markets related to defense training and simulation programs and technologies.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Michael talks about some of the current trends in the drone industry.  This is the first of two interviews with Michael on the drone industry. Today we cover autonomy and AI, precision measurement drones, American drone manufacturing and data integration. 

May 25, 2021

What’s the Outlook for American Drone Manufacturers?

Tom Nickell is an entrepreneur who for 25 years has turned ideas into success for Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and start-ups in manufacturing, chemicals, software and web tech, and now Unmanned Aircraft Systems.  He is also the CEO of Mobile Recon Systems, a leading American designer and manufacture of drones to serve the fast expanding 5 to 500 pound payload market.  Tom joined the founders of Mobile Recon in 2018, excited by their innovative designs that set new bars for payload capacity and functional flexibility.  Tom has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an Masters of Arts from the University of Kentucky Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, and a Bachelor’s from Principia College. 

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Tom talks about Mobile Recon Systems, their new heavy lift payload drones and the opportunities for American drone manufactures.   

May 18, 2021

How will we maintain accountability for package delivery when BVLOS operations begin?

Steven Flynn is Founder and CEO of SkyTango, a global drone services company located in Dublin, Ireland.  Steve is an Emmy Award winning Filmmaker, Director of Photography, Editor and a drone pilot since 2013.  In 2019, he led Ireland’s first BVLOS Diabetes Drone delivery of Insulin to AN island community.  He recently finished a 9-month stint at Wingcopter, working as a Senior Business Developer.  He has also led teams to achieve new milestones in the Beyond Visual Line of Sight arena.

His experience with BVLOS drone delivery led to looking at how best to manage and track packages to ensure an accurate, smooth and safe delivery to the customer.  According to Steven, improving accountability in the workflow is key to protecting and growing the commerce of the drone industry.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Steven talks about SkyTango, the drone delivery business and how maintaining accountability in the package delivery workflow is paramount to the long term profitability of  BVLOS drone delivery.

 

May 11, 2021

Can an Open-Source Ecosystem Provide Enhanced Drone Solutions?

Romeo Durscher is Vice President of Public Safety at Auterion,  the premier end-to-end operating systems for commercial drones, based on open-standards, flexibility and choices.  In 2011, co-founder Lorenz Meier created PX4, the world’s most widely used open-source flight controller for drones and other unmanned vehicles. Today, it is the core of Auterion’s operating systems.  In September 2020, a Forbes.com article called Auterion the company that could transform the U.S. Drone Industry.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Romeo came to Auterion after 6 years at DJI, where he built the public safety vertical and has become one of the most trusted global leaders and evangelists in small Unmanned Aircraft Systems integration and deployments. Prior to joining the drone industry, he spent 13 years at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

At Auterion, Romeo advises first responders and humanitarian organizations on proper drone use and data integration, collaborating with R&D teams on hardware and software solutions, and expanding the drone ecosystem to enhance fully integrated end-to-end solutions and workflows.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Romeo talks about Auterion’s products and services, his transition to a fully-open source ecosystem and how that ecosystem enables and supports enhancedcustomer solutions.

May 4, 2021

Can Drones Keep Power Companies Safe From Wildfires?

Chris Beaufait serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Sharper Shape -- the market leader in delivering transformative inspection solutions for the utility industry. Chris is a proven business leader with extensive global experience and joined Sharper Shape from his role as Chief Operating Officer of Sarcos Robotics. He led Sarcos’ commercialization and development efforts for powered exoskeletons and teleoperated inspection robots. 

Before joining Sarcos, Chris led the Asia Pacific & China business as a Group SVP and President for Vestas, the world’s leading wind power and services company. For 16 years before Vestas, he worked for the General Electric Company in a variety of leadership positions.  Before GE, Chris served for 11 years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Officer and certified nuclear engineer. He also holds multiple Six Sigma certifications. 

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Chris talks about Sharper Shape, its utility inspection services and how those services are help utility companies reduce risk of wildfires.

Apr 27, 2021

Can drones save the mining industry money? 

William Prior is a technology evangelist at Skycatch, a drone data and analytics firm.  The company provides aerial data capture automation, processing, visualization, and analysis tools. Complete with onboarding, training and support. Many of the world's largest companies use Skycatch across all of their work sites.  Mining companies use Skycatch to precisely measure how much dirt they’re moving.  By reducing the amount of time to capture and process the data, Skycatch clients have realized over $6M in savings for 1 year.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, William talks about Skycatch, its focus on serving the mining industry and the benefits of using drones, autonomy and machine learning in mining operations. 

Apr 20, 2021

Ever wonder if you could be a drone racing pilot?

Today’s guest did just that and her story will inspire you.  Susan Smith is an FPV drone racing pilot from San Diego.  She is a member of the Safety Third Racing Club and the team pilot for NewBeeDrone, a company that is dedicated to supporting newcomers to the FPV drone racing world.  Susan picked up drone a few years ago, and after a few months of crashing and thrashing, she found her groove and today she is one of the top female drone racing pilots in the world. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Susan shares her story of becoming the best at what she does racing drones.

Apr 13, 2021

Are big commercial entities ready for drone delivery?

Anthony Vittone is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of DroneUp.  DroneUp provides end-to-end aerial data collection services for large, autonomous missions; leveraging their patented Mission Match platform. DroneUp matches missions with small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) pilots. They locate, qualify, and deploy single pilot or multi-pilot crews according to their client’s requirements. The company is committed to providing a comprehensive network of pilots while maintaining a steadfast commitment to safety and responsible operations.  Recently, the company completed a series of drone delivery flights for Walmart and Coca-Cola, in what may be the start of drone delivery adoption by major retailers.

In addition to being Executive VP and COO, Anthony is also an accomplished lawyer and business executive.  At DroneUp, he oversees business operations and finance, legal, HR and contract fulfillment. He has extensive experience in working with and developing businesses in a variety of disciplines. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Anthony gives us an update od DroneUps efforts in drone delivery. 

Apr 6, 2021

How have power companies used drones during Covid-19?

For that question, we head to Nice, France to speak with Kevin O’Donovan, founder of the boutique technology consultant company, A Bit of This & That ...  The company is focused on the intersection of technology and the Energy Industry, delivering innovative technology consultations, sales advisory, speaker & B2B Influencer services.  Being a bit of a storyteller, Kevin has been evangelizing how new technologies can transform the way we do things throughout his career. Kevin has a proven track record of 'bridging the gap' between the capabilities a new technology can bring and the practicalities of bringing that technology to market.  He has held senior leadership Technical Sales & Sales Management roles at Compaq, HP and most recently at Intel, where he was Intel’s Worldwide Sales Director for the Energy Industry. 

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Kevin talks about power companies have used drones during the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain operations and more importantly keep the lights for all of us.

Mar 30, 2021

What are the current trends in academia related to drones?

Christian Janke is Assistant Professor in the College of Aeronautics at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is the largest accredited university system specializing in aviation and aerospace programs, with its main campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona.  It also has numerous online programs and academic programs offered at satellite locations.

In addition to being Assistant Professor, Chris is also Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Systems Applications program. 

Following his assignments as a helicopter pilot in the German Armed Forces, he moved into research where he coordinated national and international research projects in the aerospace field. He is a trainer for Human Factors & Crew Resource Management, Instructor for Safety Management and Risk Assessment in Aviation and Auditor for Quality Management.  He has ten years of first-hand market experience advising industrial clients in the fields of aviation, electromobility and security technology. He supports startups in the founding phase and is a member of the Dronemasters Academy platform, which teaches STEM topics to children and young people using small drones and robots. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Christian talks about the use of small drones in education, the safe integration of uavs into the airspace, the potentials of Urban Air Mobility, and the prevention of drone misuse.  

Mar 23, 2021

How many tries does it take to bring down a rogue drone? 

Sharone Aloni is vice-president of research and development of Smart Shooter, a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems.  The company’s SMASH Fire Control system significantly increases the accuracy and lethality of small arms and provides end-users with a "One Shot – One Hit" capability across multiple mission areas. Thus, creating a significant advantage for the infantry soldier and ultimately revolutionizing the world of small arms and optics. 

The SMASH Fire Control System was originally designed for use against ground units, but recently, the Dutch Army tested it in a live-fire counter-drone trial.  The test took place in the Austrian High Mountains, as part of the Dutch Defense Department examination of different ways to combat small unmanned systems.  Tested at a range of up to 200 meters, in harsh weather conditions, fog, and blowing snow, the SMASH Fire Control Systems proved to be highly effective in shooting down drones. It made no difference whether the drones were stationary in the air or moving. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Sharone introduces us to Smart Shooter, the SMASH Fire Control System and how its become one of the easiest and most reliable counter drone solutions for the military. 

Mar 16, 2021

Are you ready for the Boston Drone Film Festival?

Jovan Tanasijevic and Jamie Wiener are with the Boston Drone Film Festival.  Jovan is founder of the festival and director at Above Summit, a production studio specializing in drone cinematography.  Jamie is the Festival Director.  

The Boston Drone Film Festival celebrates the creative pursuit of international drone cinematographic and drone photographers from around the world.  Serving as a platform for talented drone content creators, the Boston Drone Film Festival hopes to inspire a new generation to push the limits of what’s creatively possible with the technology. 

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Jovan and Jamie talk about the history of the Boston Drone Film Festival, this year’s schedule and how we can attend and participate in the virtual event. 

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