AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL 2023 Is Less than Two Months Away—Here’s What We’re Looking Forward To

BY Zacc Dukowitz
22 March 2023

XPONENTIAL 2023 is coming up fast—the event will be held this year in Denver, Colorado from May 8-11.


XPONENTIAL is an annual gathering of global leaders and end users in the drone space, as well as those interested in robotics in general.

If you’re looking for the latest drone technology, the exhibition hall is always a great place to see new releases from major drone companies. And if you’re looking for work or to make new contacts for potential sales, there are sure to be lots of networking opportunities at the conference.

Early bird registration ends on April 17, so if you’re thinking about attending we recommend making a decision sooner rather than later to lock in that lower price.

You can also use the unique UAV Coach code XPO23DISCUAV to get $25 off the XPO Hall Pass, $75 off the Full Conference and $100 off the VIP pass.

Learn more about XPONENTIAL 2023, or keep reading to see all the reasons we’re excited about AUVSI this year.

1. The Speakers

The speakers are one of the main reasons most anyone goes to a conference. And at XPONENTIAL, the keynotes and talks are always top notch.


The theme for XPONENTIAL 2023 is Building the Blueprint for Autonomy, a focus that defines many of the talks featured at the event.

As a community, we are moving beyond the vision-setting phase for autonomy and are drawing up a blueprint to fully operationalize and integrate these systems. And while a collective focus on the same grand design is critical, how we work together will determine how smoothly and quickly we achieve full integration and realize the potential of our industry.

– AUVSI statement

Autonomy is one of the hottest topics in the drone industry right now, and promises to be for many more years. As drone and robotics companies move into different levels of autonomy, the promise of hearing from industry leaders on the cutting edge of these developments is one of the top reasons we’re excited for XPONENTIAL this year.

Under this umbrella theme there are four pillars for the event. all of which relate to autonomy in different ways:

  • Design
  • Operationalization
  • Integration
  • Safeguarding uncrewed and robotic technology

 2. The 2023 XCELLENCE Awards

The XCELLENCE Awards are always one of our favorite parts of XPONENTIAL.

The awards recognize innovators who are leading the charge in different aspects of robotics and drone technology. This year there are nine categories for the awards, with a total of 43 finalists.

Here’s an overview of the categories and the companies that have been nominated:

XCELLENCE in Academic Research

  • Neural10, Autonomous Navigation in GPS-Denied Zones
  • Ocean Alliance, Tagging Whales with Drones
  • University of Colorado Boulder, 20 Years of UAS Research XCELLENCE
  • University of Michigan, Alireza Mohammadi
  • Virginia Tech’s Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Robert Briggs

Credit: Amy Robertson for Virginia Tech

XCELLENCE in Innovation

  • Austal USA, Austal MCS
  • Plus, PlusDrive, An Industry-defining Driver-in, Highly Automated Driving (HAD) Solution
  • Sentera, Eliminating Stitching with the Sentera DGR System
  • Skydio, Skydio Dock, Automated Inspections of Sites with Autonomous, Remote Drone Operations
  • UPS Flight Forward, Inc., Safety Management System First in the Industry Accepted by the FAA

Credit: Skydio

XCELLENCE in Mission


  • ArroTech, Rapid and Accurate Autonomous UXO Detection
  • MissionGO, Inc., Operation Healing Eagle Feather
  • Near Earth Autonomy, Autonomous Aerial Blood & Medical Supply Delivery to the Wounded
  • The David McAntony Gibson Foundation (GlobalMedic), GlobalMedic RescUAV Response to La Soufrière Volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • UCAL Fuel Systems Limited, Drone Based Disaster Relief

Public Safety

  • Brookhaven GA Police Department, Brookhaven Police sUAS Team
  • Hidden Level, Inc., Airspace Monitoring Service (AMS)
  • Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • United States Forest Service, Testing and Scaling New Technologies for Operations and Safer Mixed Airspace Ops

Credit: Texas Department of Public Safety

XCELLENCE in Workforce Development

  • DroneUp, with partner, Richard Bland College, Established the First Commercial Drone Workforce Training Program for College Credit
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide and Warren College, Better Together: Producing Effective Educational Opportunities for the UAS Workforce
  • Fullerton College, Fullerton Drone Lab, Drone Piloting Registered Apprenticeship
  • Laurel Ridge Community College, Laurels Take Flight
  • National Robotics Education Foundation NREF, National Robotics Education Foundation (NREF)

Credit: DroneUp

In addition to those listed above, there are also a total of 13 finalists in the categories of XCELLENCE in Operations and XCELLENCE in Technology.

 3. Co-Located Events

Every year, AUVSI partners with carefully selected organizations to offer smaller events that run in parallel to the conference.

Below are just a few we’ve selected—see the full list of co-located events on the AUVSI website.

Monday, May 8 | 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM MT

The Law-Tech Connect™ Workshop is an educational event that aims to connect and inform all those involved in uncrewed systems (C-Suite, operators, engineers, attorneys, academics, students, etc.) in a dynamic one-day session of techno-legal content. Learn more here.

Tuesday, May 9 – Thursday, May 11 | 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM MT

The DRONERESPONDERS Forum at XPONENTIAL offers a comprehensive, 3-day conference pass from Tuesday, May 9 through Thursday, May 11 for public safety and emergency services professionals seeking a complete educational experience surrounding law enforcement, fire rescue, and emergency management drone operations. Learn more here.

Wednesday, May 10 | 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM MT

Delivery drones, regional shuttles, remotely piloted cargo aircraft—all will need safe and equitable access to national airspace alongside today’s civil helicopters and commercial airliners, as well as military aircraft in civil airspace. Learn more here.


 4. Networking

In total, AUVSI is expecting over 8,500 people from 20 industries and 60 countries, making it a rich ecosystem for interacting with other people who work with drones and robotics in general.

One of our favorite things about events like XPONENTIAL is getting to see colleagues and friends we’ve made over the years.

XPONENTIAL 2023 will have a ton of opportunities to reconnect with contacts in the drone industry, as well as chances for networking in general, allowing you to look for work, search for new hires, or just connect with like minded people working with drones.


 5. The Exhibition Hall

Getting to see the new releases and the latest technology in the exhibition hall is always one of the best things about XPONENTIAL.

This year promises to be full of new releases and exciting new models and products from the top drone companies in the world. Just walking through the exhibition hall is one of the most fun aspects of attending the event, since you feel like you’re on the bleeding edge of what is being developed—and what is possible—across the entire drone industry.


Want to attend XPONENTIAL 2023? Register now on the AUVSI website. Make sure to use the code XPO23DISCUAV to get $25 off XPO Hall Pass, $75 off Full Conference and $100 off VIP.

Join a global community of


drone enthusiasts.