News from Commercial UAV Expo 2021—Product Releases, Buzz, and Pitch the Press Winners
BY Zacc Dukowitz9 September 2021
Commercial UAV Expo has been happening this week in Las Vegas, and with it came new product releases, great talks, and lots of opportunities for companies to show off their latest technology.
Also, a few members of the UAV Coach team were in attendance—in fact, this was the first drone conference we’ve gone to since before the pandemic.
Here are Liz Robertson, UAV Coach’s Marketing Director, and Zacc Dukowitz, a contributing writer at UAV Coach, just before a panel on industrial facilities that Zacc led at the conference:
Releases and News from the Exhibition Hall
Here are some of the major releases, news, and just cool tech that we saw in the exhibition hall this week at Commercial UAV Expo.
AEE Technology’s New Mach 6 Drone for Delivering Medical Devices
At a live demo on the first day of Commercial UAV Expo, AEE Technologies unveiled the Mach 6, a new drone made to deliver external defibrillators (AEDs). The Mach 6 has a range of up to 7 miles, can carry a payload of up to 13 pounds, fly up to 50 minutes, and comes with a millimeter radar for collision avoidance.
A2Z’s New Delivery Drone, the RDSX
A2Z’s new drone (left) and its RDS1 payload attached to a 3rd party drone (right)
Earlier this year A2Z burst onto the drone delivery scene with its RDS1 payload for drone deliveries, which allows delivery drones to hover as high as 150 feet in the air while dropping packages down using a controlled freefall tether. Now the company has released its own delivery drone (shown above), called the RDSX.
One thing that struck us about the exhibition hall this year was that there were some really big drones on display. The drone above from Doosan is one of the first hydrogen-powered drones in the world, and below is a large inspection drone from Commaris.
And this new firefighting drone from Velary was so big we couldn’t even get the whole thing in the shot:
DroneUp’s Sky Lounge
DroneUp had a big showing at the conference, and one of the coolest booth designs we’ve ever seen.
From the top of the booth you could sit and have a cup of coffee while looking out over the entire exhibit hall, taking in a huge room full of some of the most ground-breaking UAV technology in the world.
Flyability’s New Drone for Radiation Sensing
In a panel on Wednesday, Alexandre Meldem, the Managing Director of Flyability’s U.S. Office, spoke about the radiation sensor on the company’s newest drone.
Called the Elios 2 RAD, it’s a version of Flyability’s indoor drone made just for inspections at nuclear power plants, which comes with the ability to sense and map radiation. According to the company, over 80% of U.S. nuclear operators already use Flyability’s indoor drones for visual inspections—and they now may start using them for radiation sensing and mapping as well.
Zipline’s Bold Health Access Mission
In a keynote on the first day of the conference, Conor French of Zipline said that the company has its sights on “[providing] health access to all humans on the planet.”
It’s an ambitious statement, but also not outside the realm of possibility. Zipline has steadily grown its medical drone delivery efforts over the last several years, and will soon be making deliveries in the U.S. while continuing to expand its programs in other parts of the world.
Pitch the Press Winners
As part of the conference, Commercial UAV Expo hosts a competition every year called Pitch the Press that invites exhibitors to pitch their products to a group of editors and reporters.
There were 131 companies exhibiting at the conference, and 17 were invited to share their products during the one-hour live event. In the presentations, each company gave a short elevator pitch and then answered questions for one minute.
Here are the three Pitch the Press winners.
Emesent’s Hovermap Platform
According to reporting from Commercial UAV Expo, Emesent’s Hovermap platform caught the eye of the Pitch the Press panel for “its versatility and its forward-looking ability to enable autonomy.”
The lightweight (4 pounds / 1.8 kilograms) Hovermap LiDAR sensor can be used on drones, but it can also be used by hand, mounted on other types of vehicles, or put onto a backpack.
BRINC Drones is a Las Vegas-based startup that creates tactical drone systems aimed at saving lives in critical safety and security incidents. BRINC’s primary offering is the LEMUR, a drone designed to help law enforcement, SWAT, fire, and emergency responders to clear rooms and de-escalate potentially dangerous situations.
The LEMUR can enable communication directly with an onboard public address system, deliver small payloads to support emergency operations, and break the glass to enter buildings using a tool designed for this purpose (as shown above).
vHive makes a software solution that helps organizations quickly and accurately create digitals twins, allowing them to render their infrastructure and assets digitally for inspections and planning. The company’s software is agnostic to the subject being scanned so it can be deployed from buildings, cellular phone towers, or cranes.
vHive also has a solution that allows you to fly multiple off-the-shelf drones in unison to complete a single capture.