“What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen developed around drones or drone tech in the last 12 months?”
Today’s (19th February) Civic Drone Centre launch event, held at Preston’s Media Innovation Studio, looked at the innovative uses of drone technology and focused on generating new ideas for the future of UAVs.
Teaming together people with various expertise in aerospace, engineering, digital media, data collection and conservation, the aim of the day is not only to identify these innovative ideas, but to find new and exciting opportunities for collaboration in the world of UAV technology.
Billy Beggs, Engineering Innovation Manager at UCLan, gave an introduction on the journey of UAV technology and manufacturing from 415-413 BC to the present day. Beggs suggested that now we have moved to “cheap-as-chips materials”, drone technology is both viable and affordable.
Around the world, drone technology is evolving and being used for an increasing number of data and newsgathering environments.
Today’s speakers at the Media Innovation Studio included African SkyCAM’s Dickens Onditi Olewe, Carl Robinson from the British Antarctic Survey Team, a pre-recorded insight from Mike Osterreicher and a creative showcase shown by Andy Miah, chair of Science Communication and Future Media at Salford University.
Using the ‘World Café’ method to help move the conversations along, the day saw a number of discussions around new collaborations and innovative ideas. With the incentive of a potential funding money pot, individuals teamed up and got their creative, (and rather techy) juices flowing.
Six teams came up with a number of ideas including confined space operations, emergency services support drones and a maritime observation UAS. Some went a little out of the box looking at remote delivery of veterinary medication through a drone dubbed a “paintballing sheep”. Others took a flight on the fun side looking creating communities for “Inclusive Drone Racing (4Good)”.
The event concluded with each person backing their favourite idea with a virtual £1,000 via our own Remerge software – that allows people to comment, draw and vote together as a team. With 31% of the overall vote, ‘Sense and Avoid’ drones for safer flights was declared the winner. An idea that was pitched as a “much needed piece of technology for aviation services”, uses mobile signals to send out a simple message to say “I’m here and I’m ok”.