UAV Show 2015

Ikopta are just back from a busy day attending the Commercial UAV Show 2015 at the Excel, London.

Show Swag!

Show Swag!

This is 2nd year the show has been run, aimed at the commercial end users in the UAV market place. What was apparent, is that the UAV market place has not even started yet, and the application potential is huge. In most cases saying life changing is an understatement.

That said, was the UAV2015 any good?

Well, from Ikopta’s perspective as an operator, it was a little underwhelming at times and a tad frustrating. The main draw for us was the attendance of DJI Global. With the recent launch of some pretty amazing kit and a demo promised @12-30 on the Wednesday, we scuttled into the hall like one direction fans going to their last concert. Ignoring everyone, we made a bee-line to the DJI stand, the anticipation was too much, we were about to explode, almost breaking into a sprint to get there first, elbows out. We rounded the corner, to be meet by…..the most disappointing sight I have seen since last halloween , when someone wrapped a brussel-sprout up as a Ferrero Rocher!!

DJI, whats going on?! There were empty display cases, “A”phantom on display (for a Commercial UAV show????) and one member of staff who was busy demonstrating the new hand held OSMO.

Osma is great, but rubbish at flying.

DJI Osma is great, but rubbish at flying.

The OSMO, a great little piece of kit, but last time I checked, it does not fly! Whats the point of being at a UAV show, and not being showing off the new DJI Inspire pro with the X5 Camera?The jewell in the Crown! To top it off, at demo time, DJI were a no show, no demo. Arrrggghhh. Poor, poor show DJI. Love your products, no so sure about your PR and support planned or otherwise you showed for your customers/suppliers promoting your products.

DJI aside, there where some high points at the show. Number one was hooking up with other UAV operators across the country. Operators such as,  geo-4duav.com, aerial-cam.co.uk & apflightteam.com all working hard, spreading the love. Great news from our insurers at Coverdrone.co.uk with the readjustment on the potential access on insurance claims, and other tweets they’ve made after talking to customers (always good to hear).

A strong show of products from aerialtronics.com, with a good range of commercial applications covered by their workhorse UAV’s. What was impressive was they set up their own demo area. Importantly, their weight class is under 7kg, a game changer with resent changes in legislation. Operators should take notice of the manufactures that listen, and deliver a stable, cost effective flight platform. I look forward to test them out.

aerialtronics.com Workhorse UAV

aerialtronics.com Workhorse UAV

Eye catching was a nod to the social conscience that UAV’s can deliver. It was truly inspiring to meet UAV operators involved with Surrey Search & Rescue. Companies such as skyexplorer.co.uk donate their time and equipment to help in operations to find vulnerable adults and missing people in the Surrey area. Co-ordinating with the emergency services, they use a range of UAV’s with optical and thermal cameras to narrow down search areas, saving valuable time, making best use of the limited on the ground resources. In our opinion, any media looking for a negative story to publish about UAV’s/drones, should take a breath, and contact Surrey Search & Rescue first. Well-done all involved, if we come together, we can do great things.

All in, we found the commercial UAV show narrow in its range of  commercial applications/products. The film and media sectors were conspicuously M.I.A, as were the construction industry. It seemed all about the land surveying, but they may be a reflection on the general UAV market place at the moment. We were concerned to see a push for products whose applications are interesting, however impossible to use legally with todays regulations from the CAA (line of sight rule, 400ft ceiling etc.) Does this mean there are operators breaking the law? Or will it mean great products will never develop further because they cannot be used commercially?

Inspirational use of UAV's

Inspirational use of UAV’s

The show was well organised, as you would expect from something at the Excel. The UAV industry is just a spark, and shows like the Commercial UAV 2015 help the cause. I hope that they can build on this years success, and attracted more innovation, diversity and products to next year.

Well done to the team at totally unmanned, look forward to next show.