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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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Now displaying: 2022
Dec 27, 2022

What’s it take to build the most efficient and reliable UAS propulsion system?

Jon Broome is CEO and co-founder of Vertiq, a manufacturer of ultra compact, high performance servo motors for drone propulsion. Combining a unique hardware design and proprietary motor calibration and control software, Vertiq optimizes motor performance and controllability.   As a result, Vertiq’s products significantly increase the effectiveness of commercial and defense drones.

UAS vehicles using Vertiq technology fly 10% longer, maneuver and stabilize 4x faster, experience 75% fewer critical failures, and have access to unique propeller positioning capabilities.

Jon started the Vertiq with his co-founder Matt Piccoli in 2017, and since then, they’ve been working to bring industrial-grade motors and motor controllers to the drone market. Jon graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Middlebury College in 2016. During his time at Middlebury, Jon founded his first company, which made high protein snacks for gym-goers and athletes at the college. 

Jon wished to continue his entrepreneurial career after graduation, and he quickly found his next venture when he attended his cousin (and future Co-Founder) Matt Piccoli’s PhD thesis defense, which focused on building unique aerial vehicles using advanced motor control techniques. Matt wanted to start a propulsion company based on his research and needed a co-founder to handle the non-engineering side of the business. Jon assumed the role of CEO and now, he is responsible for all of Vertiq’s business development efforts, investor relations, and company strategy, among many other duties.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Jon talks about Vertiq, it’s revolutionary propulsion systems and how such systems are changing the drone industry. 

Dec 13, 2022

What does Europe’s U-Space Protocol for Uncrewed Systems mean for BVLOS Operations?

For that question, we head to Washington, DC to speak with Amit Ganjoo, CEO and Founder of ANRA Technologies.  ANRA Technologies is Award Winning Drone Operations and UAS Traffic Management Platform provider.  The company’s SmartSkies™ platform is used by multiple commercial and government entities for running and managing commercial drone operations.

Amit has over 20 years of aviation, telecom and wireless experience in both the federal and the commercial space. He is an engineer, a licensed pilot, following a lifelong passion in aviation and builds experimental aircrafts.

Amit’s engagement with drone programs for the U.S. Department of Defense motivated him to establish ANRA so he could address the growing need for unmanned systems to be safely integrated into existing air systems. ANRA launched their UTM platform in 2015 and has been collaborating and working alongside stakeholders and clients ever since. ANRA was selected as an Airspace Partner for NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign and is the technology provider for the Future of Flight Initiative in the United Kingdom.

As part of his pursuit to efficiently integrate drones into the airspace, Amit is a board member of the Global UTM Association that supports the accelerated and transparent implementation of globally interoperable UTM systems. He is also a member of FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee working group for UTM and co-chaired the working group that developed ASTM Standard Specification F3548 for UAS Traffic Management UAS Service Supplier Interoperability.

Until December 2016, he acted as the co-chair for FCC’s Technical Advisory Council for 5G and IoT, which included ground and airborne autonomous vehicles. He was the Director of Engineering and Principal Architect at Ericsson, providing telecom solutions to commercial customers and Federal Government, where he was the recipient of the Athena Award. He was also the Founder and CEO of a Mobile Marketing company from which he had a successful exit in 2009.

Amit is an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Engineering and volunteers at a local Maker Space in the D.C. area. He holds a master’s degree in Computer Science and Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Engineering from Punjab Engineering College.

On January 26, 2023 Europe will implement a new uncrewed air space regulatopry framework, called the U-Space Framework.  U-space is a set of specific services and procedures designed to ensure safe and efficient access to airspace for a large number of drones, and which are based on high levels of digitalization and automation. The purpose of U-space is to achieve automated UAS management and integration, allowing for a large series of operations, many of them even simultaneous, and all of this in harmonious coexistence with the current ATM system.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Amit provides an overview of the U-space framework, the impact it will have on BVLOS flights and the potential lessons and applications here in North America.

Nov 29, 2022

What are the current trends in UAS parachute recovery systems?

For that question, we head to Monte Sereno, California to speak with Gene Engelgau, CEO and Founder of Fruity Chutes.  Fruity Chutes manufactures premium quality parachutes for aerospace, corporate, institutional, university and consumer customers. Since 2007, Fruity Chutes parachutes have established a reputable history for dependable performance in unmanned applications

In addition to producing parachute recovery systems, the company provides drone manufacturers with free technical support for full recovery system integration.  It also assists manufacturers with obtaining certifications and waivers relating to FAA and ASTM standards as well as other national and international regulations. Since founding Fruity Chutes in 2007, the company has established itself as the leading provider to the UAS industry of a broad range of parachute recovery products optimized for light weight at a high strength capacity.  Fruity Chutes is the first UAS recovery company to have a customer using their parachutes obtain an Operations Over People Waiver, an Operations over Moving Vehicles Waiver, and FAA Type Certification. 

Gene has been part of the Silicon Valley tech industry since the late 70s.  He has founded several tech start-ups both in the early Internet e-commerce space as well as the hobby radio control industries.  He has experience in electronics hardware design, embedded systems, enterprise software, and web systems design and databases.

Gene has always had a passion for aeromodelling. He’s flown RC aircraft and rockets for 40 years.  In the mid-80s, Gene helped found CSys Labs Inc., a company that designed and manufactured one of the first all computer controlled RC airplane controllers and was sold under the Airtronics/Sanwa brand.

Gene has two daughters that hold key roles in the company. Janice Engelgau is the Lead Communications Specialist of Fruity Chutes with nearly a decade of experience working in the UAS industry. Developing methods to better educate the industry on parachute recovery has been the main pillar of her work with Fruity Chutes. Her goal is to help as many UAS professionals as possible understand the profound benefits of parachute recovery and successfully implement recovery into their systems.

Jayne Engelgau is the Head of Content and Web Development at Fruity Chutes. She integrates her inquisitive mind for drone applications with her experience in visual design, written media, and web development. She is committed to educating the UAS industry on the vital roles of safety technologies, parachute recovery system implementation, standardization, as well as pre-, post-, and in-flight PRS protocol. Upholding a lifelong belief that educational knowledge should be accessible, she popularizes and enlivens topics of UAS recovery in bright, “fruity” colors across a variety of communicative modes.

In Episode 171 recorded in 2018, I interviewed Gene and Jan as they introduced us to Fruity Chutes. In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Gene, Jan and Jayne discuss about how changes in the drone industry in the past 3 years affect the design and use of parachute recovery systems

Nov 8, 2022

What’s the market like for UAS in Latin America?

Juan Plaza is CEO of Plaza Aerospace, a consulting company specializing in crewed and uncrewed aviation, Latin American Business Development and GIS consulting.  The company helps organizations reach their goals faster by selecting the right platforms and implementing the best deployment practices. 

Prior to forming Plaza Aerospace in 2015, Juan spent more than 26 years as a Sales Director for companies such as Autodesk and Trimble Navigation, nearly all time in Latin America where he developed a network of software and hardware distributors willing and eager to represent new products in their respective countries.

Juan oversaw the implementation of some of the largest Geographic Information Systems deployments in the world and developed a reputation as a Project Manager with a fierce focus on finishing on time and within budget.

Juan received a degree in Geodesy in 1984 and a MBA in International Finance in 2004. He’s a commercial pilot flying Citation jets for photogrammetry applications in the Americas, and holds a Part 107 certificate

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Juan talks about Plaza Aerospace, the market for UAS in Latin America and he provides insights into how companies and entrepreneurs can successfully establish a new business Latin American countries.

Oct 25, 2022

How does one go about building an integrated drone logistics company?

Eric Peck is Co-founder and CEO of Swoop Aero.  Swoop Aero is an Australian drone-powered logistics com pany founded in 2017 to transform how the world moves, by making access to the skies seamless.  Their mission is to provide the world’s leading technology platform for sustainable and scalable drone logistics.  The company has extensive experience in this area.  It has spearheaded disaster relief and medical supply delivery worldwide, delivering over one million items in over 18,000 flights so far, working with companies including UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, UPS and more.   Swoop Aero’s platform is built for logistics at scale and integrates all modes of transport. It is the safe and responsive FAA Certification-ready solution that enables two-way deliveries across multiple destinations, organizations, and providers, using their industry-leading BVLOS expertise.

At Swoop Aero, Eric leads the overall business strategy and the relationships with the company’s global partners. A former Air Force Pilot, Eric led missions in the Middle East as a qualified C130J Hercules Captain. After almost a decade as a pilot, Eric completed an MBA and joined Deloitte to help leading organizations solve their most complex problems.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Eric talks about Swoop Aero’s drone powered logistics platform and how the company has become the world leader in drone delivery.

 

Oct 18, 2022

What is the Domestic Counter UAS National Action Plan and how can public safety organizations prepare for it?

Charles Werner is Director of DroneResponders,  a non-profit organization created to unite aerial first responders, emergency managers, and search and rescue specialists in maximizing drone operations for public safety.  The organization is approaching 7,000 members worldwide, most of whom are using drones in a variety of public safety applications.  It has become the leading resource for public safety use of drone technology.

Charles is the retired Charlottesville fire chief and 46 year public safety veteran. After retirement, Charles worked with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for 2 years as senior advisor/acting deputy state coordinator. He served in numerous leadership roles at the local, state, national levels on public safety initiatives. He is a FAA certificated Remote Pilot, an author with more than 150 internationally published articles and serves as a contributor to numerous other public safety publications.

Charles has received numerous commendations, three Virginia Governor’s Awards of Excellence, recognized as the National Career Fire Chief Award in 2008 and Homeland Security Today’s Person of the Year in 2018.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Charles talks about a new White House initiative on Counter UAS. This initiative will impact all public safety organizations in the US, and he offers suggestions on how to work with and prepare for the National Action Plan.  He also provides an update on what DroneResponders is doing to promote public safety use of drones.

Oct 11, 2022

Is there a way to make drones lighter, stronger and more scalable without sacrificing safety and integrity?

Jeremy Smith is the Business Development Manager at Alpine Advanced Materials, a leader in the design and manufacture of custom-engineered parts and products for the world’s most demanding aerospace, defense and space applications. The company commercializes high-performance materials originally developed and qualified by top defense contractors, including its flagship HX5® military aviation-grade nanocomposite. 

Engineered to replace machined aluminum, HX5 is half the weight and has been both tested and proven against the harshest environments in the world. HX5 is currently in use on jet fighters, high-speed helicopters, amphibious transport vehicles, rockets, and satellites.  It is highly adaptable without sacrificing strength or performance. Its customization and manufacturability here in the U.S. combined with its high tolerance and dimensional stability make it an ideal alternative to the cost and production challenges associated with aluminum.  That makes HX5 ideal for use in the unmanned aerial industry. 

At Alpine Advanced Materials, Jeremy works in the OEM and UAV markets. Previously, He served as a Sales Engineer for Franklin Products, which specializes in aircraft seating comfort and covers. He spent the past several years focused on aviation ergonomics working with airliners and interior OEMs to optimize customer in-flight comfort.  Over his career, Jeremy has specialized in the custom material markets for aviation, holding active roles in the design, sales, production and management of metal parts and their functional systems. He has served aviation, defense, energy and heavy manufacturing industries.

In this episode of the Drone Radio show, Jeremy talks about Alpine Advanced Materials, its aviation grade nano-composite and how it can help make stronger, lighter and more scalable drones.

Oct 4, 2022

Where will future advanced aerial mobility vehicles take off and land?

Damian Kysely is Head of EMEA at Skyports.  Skyports designs, builds, owns, and operates networks of vertiports.  The advent of electric vertical take off and landing aircraft opens the potential of urban air transport. Vertiports are the dedicated ground infrastructure that help realize this future. This is where Skyports excels.  The Company is the world’s leading vertiport provider and operator, enabling safe and efficient urban air transport in major markets around the globe.

At Skyports, Damian is responsible for developing and implementing global infrastructure strategy by working with real estate partners, city authorities, regulators and passenger vehicle manufacturers.

Prior to joining Skyports, Damian co-founded and ran Skyscape Technologies, a UK government-backed data analytics start-up identifying disused rooftop potential. He is also a Founding Partner at The Aviary Project, a collaborative platform and community for the Aerial Mobility industry. After his studies, Damian joined a transport technology consultancy in London and managed an early stage start-up accelerator programme in Manchester.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Damian talks about Skyports, vertiports, and current vertiports projects in Singapore, Florida and Europe.

Sep 27, 2022

What’s the best way to bring harmony to your managed drone program? 

Ed Boucas is the Founder and CEO of Votix, an American robotics company pioneering an enterprise software platform for orchestration, operation and automation of drones and robots. The platform addresses and solves drone program challenges such as productivity, safety and governance.  VOTIX is a powerful and complete cloud-based software-as-a-service solution designed to support all drone manufacturers automating drone-based workflows. The solution is flexible and easy to use, reduces process time, optimizes resources and minimizes risk for a wide range of applications. 

Ed is a technology entrepreneur and investor, with more than 20 years experience in creating and leading innovative companies.  He started his entrepreneurial career as the Founder & CEO of Cipher in 2000, a global leader in the cybersecurity industry with operations in 15 countries.  

Ed led two rounds of multimillion-dollar private equity investments and as the majority shareholder sold the company to Prosegur, a 5 Billion dollar European publicly traded company and leader in the private security industry.  Ed is also the Founder & Chairman of Blockbit, a next-generation cloud and network security technology company with over 3,000 active corporate clients, over 1 million users and with presence in 10 countries.  

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Ed talks about Votix, the concept of drone orchestration and how Votix is helping companies more effortlessy manage, stream and fly their drones.  

Sep 20, 2022

What’s the secret of longevity in the drone industry?

Cameron Chell is CEO and President of Draganfly, a leader in the professional drone industry for more than 22 years.  The company is the creator of quality, cutting-edge drone solutions, software and AI systems that revolutionize the way organizations can do business and service their stakeholders. Recognized as being at the forefront of technology for the past two decades, Draganfly serves the public safety, agriculture, industrial inspections, security, mapping and surveying markets. The company is driven by passion, ingenuity, and the need to provide efficient solutions and first-class services to its customers around the world with the goal of saving time, money, and lives.

Cameron has been a technology entrepreneur for more than 30 years and has spent his career growing a diverse collection of high-potential ideas into revolutionary companies that have changed the way we experience the world.  He takes a hands-on leadership role in projects, infusing innovation and adoption with the operational principles of clarity, alignment, and measurement into the culture of every team he works with.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cameron at this year’s Commercial UAV Expo, where the company unveiled three new cutting-edge North American-made technologies.  Following the event, I spoke had a zoom call with Cameron to record this podcast.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Cameron talks about Draganfly, the new additions to the Draganfly product line, the company’s efforts to support Ukraine in its war effort and he offers several perspectives on the current state and direction of the drone industry and how Draganfly has remained leader in the industry for so long.

Sep 6, 2022

What’s the Latest Coming Out of the Commercial Drone Industry? 

Lisa Ellman is Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, an independent non-profit organization led by key members of the commercial drone industry.  The Alliance advocates for the commercial use of drones by reducing barriers to enable the technology. It creates value for commercial enterprise end users to facilitate adoption of drone technology, and educates on the benefits of UAS for various end user communities.  

Lisa is widely recognized as one of the “world’s foremost authorities” on drone policy and law. She was featured in Fortune's "Most Powerful Women" series for her efforts to develop policy governing drone use in the United States. In addition to her role with the Commercial Drone Alliance, Lisa is also a Partner at Hogan Lovells and Chair of the firm’s global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Practice Group, a “one-stop shop” for all legal and policy issues related to commercial drones. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Lisa talks about the Commercial Drone Alliance, a recent White House Summit on Advanced Air Mobility, the status of the FAA BVLOS ARC report and the Commercial UAV Expo, which is going on as we speak in Las Vegas. 

Aug 30, 2022

What’s Better Than Two Men on A High Scaffold?

Andrew Ashur is Founder and CEO of Lucid Drone Technologies, a North Carolina based company that builds industrial spraying drones for labor intensive tasks.  The company’s goal is simple – provide customers with a safer, faster and smarter alternative to traditional spraying methods while reducing costs and adding top-line revenue.

Lucid began in 2018 with the vision of retrofitting existing off-the-shelf drones to handle exterior soft-washing. After a significant investment of time and money, the founders learned that the drone they needed was unavailable in the marketplace. The right product and support required to be successful had to be designed and built from the ground up.  That’s where Lucid excels.

Andrew manages the overall operations of Lucid, including product development, strategic partnerships, and investor relations. He is a prolific learner with a demonstrated track record for extreme productivity. Andrew graduated with a double major from Davidson College in just three years, while founding Lucid.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Andrew talks about Lucid Drone Technologies, it’s revolutionary C1 Cleaning Drone and how it is disrupting the industrial cleaning industry by providing a solution that is much faster and safer than traditional cleaning methods.

Aug 16, 2022

Can Drones Move Mountains?

Well maybe not on their own, but they can make easier for earthwork companies to do their job.  Richard Hordern-Gibbings is Director of Partnerships at Propeller.  Propeller is a global leader in 3D mapping and data analytics solutions.  The Australian company was founded in 2014 by Rory San Miguel & Francis Vierboom and creates tools and software for construction companies, mines, quarries, and landfills to collect, process, and visualize accurate survey data. Some of the world’s leading heavy civil and resources operations trust Propeller to answer critical questions about their site’s progress, productivity, work quality, and safety. 

At Propellor, Richard works with a variety of drone partners worldwide.  He’s been with the company for more than 8 years and has many insights into the use of drones in the heavy construction industry.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Richard talks about Propellor, the use of drones in the earthworks industry and how Propellor is leading efforts to help these companies find greater efficiencies and ROI. 

Aug 9, 2022

Can Drones Really Foster Economic Development?

Tom Swoyer is President of the Grand Sky Development Company.  Grand Sky is the first and only fully operational commercial UAS research and development park in the United States. Strategically located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, Grand Sky is the hub of activities in the nation’s leading state for UAS flight testing, training and development. Since 2015, Grand Sky has been the site of continuous UAS industry advancements and milestones.  Not only that, the investments in UAS at Grand Sky are now producing dividends in terms of new private development, jobs and tax revenues. 

In addition to being President of Grand Sky, Tom is also the Founder.  He developed the master plan fpr the design, construction, and operation of the infrastructure and facilities for Grand Sky.  He has also worked alongside a litany of key stakeholders and partners including the Air Force, the State of North Dakota, Congressional Delegations and Grand Forks County in making Grand Sky a success.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Tom talks about Grand Sky, its UAS mission and vision and how the investments that have been made are yielding jobs, development and increasing the tax base.  Thus proving UAS can provide community wide benefits.

 

Aug 2, 2022

How Do We Lead-the-Ship Through the Fast-Changing UAV Landscape?

Ian Foley is CEO of Pacific Triangle, a drone service provider delivering integrated platforms and end-to-end solutions for commercial applications in geospatial, oil and gas, mining and electrical utility industries.

Ian has demonstrated the ability to form resilient and high-performing teams and to empower workforce intelligence across many projects.

Throughout his UAS career, Ian has worked on projects for 3 major Californian and one Texas utility company, and has performed bridge inspections in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Saskatchewan, Canada.  He has completed cell tower inspections in California, staffed helicopter LiDAR, and has upcoming underwater ROV work.

Part 107 certified, Ian has worked his way up the ladder in the UAS industry starting as Visual Observer, then Pilot in Command, Team Leader, and Project Manager, before starting his own business with Pacific Triangle in Carlsbad, CA.  Ian’s experience in the field is an invaluable in directing the efforts of Pacific Triangle. 

He is a graduate of the Veterans Institute for Procurement START and INTERNATIONAL programs in Potomac, MD arguably the top training programs for C-level executives of Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Ian talks about Pacific Triangle, the drone service provider industry and the challenges and opportunities of starting and leading a new company.  He also provides some insights into his panel presentation at this year’s Commercial UAV Expo on September 6-8, where he’ll be speaking on how to lead-the-ship through the fast-changing UAV landscape.

 

Jul 26, 2022

What’s on tap for this year’s Commercial UAV Expo?

Jeremiah Karpowicz, Editorial Director of the Commercial UAV News, a leading source of news, insight and analysis for the commercial drone market.  The Commercial UAV News focuses on the use of drone technology in the heavy commercial sectors, such as surveying & mapping, civil infrastructure, power & utilities, mining, construction, emergency response and precision agriculture. 

At the Commercial UAV News, Jeremiah has spent over a decade cultivating communities of all different types, both in-person and online. He has created articles, videos, newsletters, ebooks and much more for these communities as a contributor and editor. He has also shaped and defined various conference programs. Today, Jeremiah is focused on defining what it means to take the engagement that happens in both the physical and digital worlds to the next level.

Each year, the Commercial UAV News presents the Commercial UAV News, a leading international trade show and conference focusing on the integration and operation of commercial UAS.  The Expo showcases the world’s leading commercial UAS technology from vendors from around the globe.  After two years apart, more than 130 exhibitors and 1,955 drone professionals reconvened in person in 2021 to learn, connect, and drive the industry forward.    

This year’s Commercial UAV Expo will be held on September 6-8 at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Jeremiah shares details on this year’s Commercial UAV Expo and his thoughts on the commercial drone industry.

Jul 19, 2022

How are drones used to monitor oil and gas transmission lines?

Didi Horn is Founder and CEO of SkyX.  SkyX is revolutionizing the way aerial data is accumulated, analyzed and actioned. By integrating Artificial Intelligence with purpose-built aerial systems, SkyX delivers actionable data so enterprise organizations can mitigate risks, assess situations faster and make intelligent and informed decisions.  The company’s services and technology is redefining long-range asset monitoring.

Didi has more than 15 years experience in aviation n, aerospace, and drones. He served with the Air Force for nearly a decade as both a captain and drone pilot.   In 2015, Didi established SkyX, which started with three employees with an idea to reshape oil and gas asset management and safety operations. 

It is estimated that the United States has 3 million miles of operating hazardous liquid, gas distribution, and gathering and transmission pipelines.   In 2019, there were 614 reported pipeline incidents in the United States, resulting in about $259 million in damages. 

Under Didi’s leadership, SkyX provides long range aerial asset monitoring that prevents potentially dangerous pipeline issues such leaks, sinkholes, vegetation encroachment, and theft.  Thus saving lives and better protecting the environment from spills.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Didi talks about SkyX, its long-range asset monitoring service and how its providing value and safety to oil and gas companies.

Jul 12, 2022

What’s New at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site? 

Trevor Woods is Executive Director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. The Northern Plains UAS Test Site was founded by the North Dakota Department of Commerce in 2013 as one of 7 FAA-designated UAS Test Sites. Its mission is to collaborate with FAA and industry partners to develop equipment, systems, rules, and procedures to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System without negatively impacting existing general or commercial aviation. 

Trevor started his career in aviation at the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Aviation Management, but he’s been flying since he was a teenager, spending his high school years working on obtaining a private pilot’s license. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration degree while working at University of North Dakota, doing flight training, which merged into UAS testing, research, and waiver and regulatory submissions to the FAA. 

Trevor has been with Northern Plains UAS Test Site since its inception, most recently as director of safety, working extensively with the FAA. He was instrumental to North Dakota being selected as one of ten participants in the UAS Integration Pilot Program, now the BEYOND program.  He participates in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team and served as the Lead on the FAA’s BVLOS ARC Working Group 2.1. Trevor also played a pivotal role in the inception of Vantis, North Dakota’s beyond visual line of sight initiative. In January 2022, Trevor was named Executive Director.  He was the natural choice to take over as executive director and lead the test site into the next stage of making the impossible possible. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Trevor talks about the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and gives us an update on Vantis and other initiatives where they’re leading in UAS operations and integration. 

Jul 5, 2022

How Are Drones Affecting The Food Delivery Industry?

James Shea is founder and publisher of the Food Delivery News.  The Food Delivery News is a multi-media business publication that covers the intersection of food, technology, supply chain and delivery. It covers the changing world of food and how it travels from the farm to the kitchen and finally to a consumer’s table.  The Food Delivery News is a division of Media Lab Studios, a content studio that works with small and large businesses, helping them tell their stories through a variety of media. 

James has over 20 years of experience in the media business and writes about the intersection of food and technology.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, James talks about the Food Delivery News, what restaurants are looking for in food delivery, and how drones are filling that growing need. 

 

Jun 28, 2022

When you’re craving dinner and in a hurry, who do you call?

Yariv Bash is the CEO and Co-founder of Flytrex, an on-demand drone delivery company . Flytrex provides a direct-to-consumer autonomous drone delivery service that lets retailers and quick-service restaurants cater to a wider customer base with faster, safer and more economical on-demand deliveries than ever before.

Flytrex is currently working with several restaurant chains and retail giant Walmart to deliver food and goods to customers’ front and backyards.

Prior to Flytrex, Yariv was Founder and CEO of SpaceIL, a $100M Israeli non-profit organization that launched Beresheet, the first private interplanetary robotic mission to the Moon in 2019.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Yariv talks about Flytrex, its innovative hot food drone delivery service and how drones are transforming the home food delivery industry.

Jun 21, 2022

Can a drone prevent the loss of life from volcanos?

David Adjiashvili is Co-Founder and Vice President of Products at Drone Harmony.  Drone Harmony is a software as a service company that automates mission planning in the most challenging vertical inspection scenarios.  Their software enables cost-effective deployment of drone technology in industries where existing technologies are unable to deliver. And it enables pilots with minimal training to collect high quality, reproducible data.

As a Swiss company, Drone Harmony understands that the safety of your data is essential and even deploys their system on your premises. The company was founded in 2016 by a team of problem solvers with a passion for drones, software and automation.

In addition to being one of those founders and Chief Scientist, he is also senior scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. His field of expertise is Algorithm Design and Mathematical Optimization, and he has been responsible for algorithmic development of the Drone Harmony Mission Planner.

David received his Bachelors degree in computer science from the Tel Aviv University and his Master’s in applied mathematics from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at the ETH Zurich in 2012 specializing on algorithm design for planning and optimization problems. He has since been employed in the Mathematics Department at ETH and worked on various research and industrial projects in the field of optimization.

In 2021 Drone Harmony assisted DERYL Group KK and the Kyoto University in generating an up-to-date high-resolution 3D model of Japan’s Sakurajima volcano. 

Sakurajima is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.  It is located in the south of Japan, with approximately 600,000 people living within 4 kilometers. Scientists are predicting a major eruption within the next 30 years.  The project team used Drone Harmony to develop the 3-D model and run various simulations for disaster prevention and response, with the goal of developing evacuation and mitigation plans for all potential disaster scenarios. Mapping a terrain is typically a straightforward process, but the Project Team quickly learned that a large geographic area, much of which is inaccessible, hostile and changing poses several challenges.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, David talks about Drone Harmony, the company’s 3-D mapping services and how that technology can be used to accurately map  and model large vertical geographic areas.

Jun 7, 2022

How do you simplify material-failure detection? 

If you ask today’s guest, he would say teach a computer to do it. Jonathan Ehrlich is COO of T2D2, a software-as-a-service company that that uses artificial intelligence to identify and assess damage and deterioration to buildings and structures. T2D2 applies data from more than 50 years of building inspection and forensic investigation work. The data is now available to property and portfolio owners and managers as well as municipalities to identify deterioration early and throughout the life of an asset. T2D2 makes it easier, quicker and less expensive to inspect structures by identifying damage and defects before they become major issues.  Their software automatically detects visible damage in concrete, steel and masonry structures.

T2D2 was established within Thornton Tomasetti, a global design and engineering firm with more than 50 years experience in structural design.  Initially part of the Core Studio incubator, T2D2 was commercialized as a separate entity through the firm’s accelerator program. Before becoming COO of T2D2, Jonathan served as the Director of Strategy, Corporate Development and Partnerships at ButterflyMX, a leader in real estate software technology. Prior, he specialized in the financing and development of mega infrastructure and real estate projects. He served as the Director of Budget and Risk Management for the $3.9B Mario M. Cuomo Bridge to replace the Tappan Zee. Prior to that he served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority where he was responsible for Board oversight of the $1.5B multi-year capital program and pavement condition rating system. He holds a BA from Tufts University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Johnathan talks about T2D2, the company’s AI inspection services and how that technology is simplifying the façade and infrastructure inspections.   

May 31, 2022

Can An Old Technology Make Industrial Drones Safer and More Effective? 

Zach Adams is Co-Founder and Chief Engineer for Pitch Aeronautics, manufacturer of a unique drone for up-close, touch-based, and robotic tasks. Among the most dangerous jobs in the United States is climbing infrastructure to perform inspections and maintenance as well as performing power line maintenance.  While today’s drones are good at taking video, they are not well suited to get close or actually interact with the surface of an object. Consequently, technicians are sent up on ropes, ladders, scaffolding, cranes, and sometimes even hanging from helicopters to perform this work.  

Pitch Aeronautics’ Astria Drone is specifically optimized for touch based tasks. It has a unique configuration that can hold a 10 pound payload on a long horizontal arm to keep it away from the rotors and allow it to interact with a building, bridge, tower, wind turbine and powerline.  It’s flown to the area using a first-person-view camera and goggles. Astria then overlays key flight and job information on the goggles so the operator can conduct the mission. . 

Astria positions the payload near the target by using a cyclorotor for lateral control. Cyclorotors are unique propellers that can near instantaneously push the drone forward, backward, left, or right. This allows Astria to compensate for wind gusts and fly more precisely. It can create and change thrust 5-10x faster than traditional drones. Cyclorotors have been used on tugboats and ferries for nearly a century for the same reason.  

Zach is recognized as a leading authority on cyclorotor technology. He is the named inventor on multiple cyclorotor patents and has published extensively on the topic. He holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Zach talks about Pitch Aeronautics, its innovative Astria drone and how the company’s patented cyclorotor technology is making dangerous jobs safer.  

 

 
May 24, 2022

Can Drones Provide Actional Insight into How Wildfires Spread?

Dr. Mrinal Kumar is an associate professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, where he founded the Laboratory for Autonomy in Data-Driven and Complex Systems.

Under Mrinal’s direction, Researchers are using autonomous drones to help prevent and mitigate wildfires.  As witnessed by the ongoing blazes across the U.S., wildfires are difficult to predict and fight. Flames can travel up to 14 mph in dry grass and spread in unexpected directions.

The Lab received a $1.4 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an aerial robotic system.  The “Integration of Autonomous UAS in Wildland Fire Management” project develops real-time situational awareness using drones to monitor the intensity and spread of wildfires. The results should help firefighting experts understand how topographic, atmospheric and forest fuel factors in temperate hardwood forests influence fire intensity and rate of spread through real-time data activation in fire behavior models.

Mrinal’s team will shadow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ prescribed burn team into the southern state forests of Ohio, led by Greg Guess at the Division of Forestry. Prescribed burns are typically conducted late in the fall or early spring when the fuel and weather conditions are conducive to a controlled burn. The drones will undergo rigorous testing and validation, leading up to fully autonomous mission design and deployment in these prescribed burns and eventually wildfires.

Mrinal received a Ph.D. in 2009 from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s degree in 2004 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, both in aerospace engineering. During 2010-16, he served as an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of Florida. In 2016, Dr. Kumar's group moved to The Ohio State University.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Dr. Kumar talks about National Science Foundation grand and the university’s research into drones and wildfires.

May 10, 2022

Do Drones Have A Place in the Health Industry?

Dr. Manish Kumar directs the Cooperative Distributed Systems Laboratory and co-directs the UAV MASTER Lab at the University of Cincinnati.

His research interests include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, robotics, decision-making and control in complex systems, multi-sensor data fusion, swarm systems, and multiple robot coordination and control.

Manish and other university Researchers have innovated a way to integrate basic telehealth services into a drone, potentially expanding the bounds of what previous innovators ever envisioned with these two technologies individually.  The research team collaborated to develop a semi-autonomous prototype that can be dispatched right to people’s homes. The drones are big enough to carry medicine or medical supplies but small enough to maneuver the tight confines of a home using navigational algorithms developed by UC engineers.” A novel aspect is that the drone will also integrate “cameras and a display screen so patients can talk to health care professionals from the comfort of their home,” in addition to carrying “a waterproof box the size of a small first-aid kit to deliver medical supplies or collect self-administered lab tests.”

Manish is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has served as the Chair of the Robotics Technical Committee of the ASME’s Dynamic Systems and Control Division, and as an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurements and Control.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show Podcast, Manish talks about the University of Cincinnati’s research into drones and the innovative use of drones for telehealth.

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