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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: 2023
Dec 26, 2023

Why is it important that we strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the global drone industry?

Michael Robbins is Chief Advocacy Officer at the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).  AUVSI is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of uncrewed systems and robotics.  It represents corporations and professionals from more than 60 countries involved in industry, government and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.

Since joining AUVSI in 2020, Michael leads all advocacy, strategic communication, and cybersecurity initiatives. In 2015, he co-founded a business consulting firm, Intrepid, and serves as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to starting Intrepid, Michael served as Managing Director of Government and Public Affairs at the Air Line Pilot Association, International. Before that, he spent a decade in the office of the late Congressman John Dingell in Michigan, where he served as the Chief of Staff.  

Michael serves on the board of the Greater Washington Aviation Open and the National Advanced Mobility Consortium. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Georgetown University and is an officer in the United States Navy Reserve. 

In this episode, Michael talks about the efforts to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the drone industry and why this is critical for economic and security reasons. 

Dec 12, 2023

How is Honeywell Positioned to Serve the Advance Air Mobility Market

For that question, we head to Phoenix to speak with David Shilliday, Vice President and General Manager of the Unmanned Aerial Systems and Urban Air Mobility business unit at Honeywell Aerospace. Honeywell’s UAS business develops new products and serves as a systems integrator for both airframe makers and operators in this fast evolving market. Its area of responsibility spans aircraft systems like avionics, electric and hybrid electric propulsion and thermal management; flight services such as unmanned air traffic management; and ground operations services such as predictive maintenance analytics.  In November, Honeywell announced its Advanced Air Mobility business unit had secured contracts worth over $10 billion to build advance air mobility components, signifying the growth of AMM as a viable commercial sector for years to come.

David has been with Honeywell for over 18 years. Prior to his current role in the Advance Air Mobility Unit, David held several key leadership positions within the company, including Vice President and General Manager for the Power Systems business of Honewell and Vice President of EMEAI Airlines.  He also led the Honeywell Aerospace Trading (HAT) business, as well as roles leading Aftermarket strategy and IP Licensing. Prior to joining Honeywell David had roles in Engineering and IP strategy within the commercial automotive market.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the WP Carey school at Arizona State University. David also holds a number of patents on innovative automotive safety technology and has published cooperative research in the field.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, David talks about Honeywell’s Advance Air Mobility Unit, it’s recent award of $10 billion in AAM related contracts and what this means for the future of advanced air mobility.

Nov 28, 2023

Will we soon be able to talk to our drones via text?

Vic Pellicano is CEO and Founder of Avianna, a Chicago-based software company working to bridge the gap between hardware and software excellence in the robotics industry. Avianna offers a suite of products that utilize artificial intelligence to enable drones and other robots to understand human language and operate autonomously.  Their software  enhances mission execution and simplifies data analysis and reporting.  Imagine being able to command your drones or check on the status of your fleet using simple commands in English, such as “find a missing person” or “which drones are scheduled for missions today”

Vic is a successful entrepreneur in the software industry.  Prior to starting Avianna, he launch Verenia in 2012, an e-commerce software company.  After a decade of growth, Verenia was acquired by Oracle in 2022. With an interest in robotics, Vic turned his attention to making the interaction of humans and robots more seamless and intuitive.  He launched Avianna in early 2023 with the aim of helping UAS manufactures make more responsive and intelligent unmanned vehicles.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show Podcast, Vic talks about Avianna, its suite of AI-powered solutions and how we will soon be able to communicate with our drones via text.

Nov 14, 2023

How close are we to seeing autonomous air taxis?

Brian Yutko is CEO of Wisk Aero, an advanced air mobility company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone. Wisk’s self-flying, electric vertical takeoff and landing air taxi will make it possible for passengers to skip the traffic and get to their destination faster. Headquartered in the Mountain View, California, with locations around the world, Wisk is an independent company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. With over a decade of experience and over 1600 test flights, Wisk is shaping the future of daily commutes and urban travel, safely and sustainably. 

Prior to joining Wisk, Brian served as Vice President and Chief Engineer for Sustainability and Future Mobility at Boeing, where he led a team that leveraged company’s technical expertise in sustainability technologies as well as emerging, advanced aerial mobility applications.  He was the Chief Technologist for Boeing NeXt and sat on the Board of Directors for Wisk following its founding as a joint venture with Boeing. 

Prior to his roles at Boeing, Brian was the Senior Vice President of Programs and Vice President of Research and Technology at Aurora Flight Sciences, an industry leader in aviation autonomy and rapid prototyping. Brian was a Research Engineer in the International Center for Air Transportation at MIT after earning a Ph.D. and Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Brian talks about the progress that Wisk Aero is making to develop and deploy autonomous air taxis, including the results of a recent successful air taxi flight demonstration at the Long Beach Airport. 

Oct 24, 2023

Is there an easier way to scale aerial data collection?

Janne Hietala is a technology enthusiast and CEO of Finland based, Kelluu.  Kelluu designs, manufactures and operates intelligent airships for persistent aerial monitoring.  Kelluu’s fleet of  hydrogen powered vehicles, capable of staying airborne for 12-hours, is equipped with an array of spectral cameras, sensors, and scanners.  These instruments can gather real-time data on a diverse range of subjects, including terrain, vegetation, and infrastructure.

Janne's journey in entrepreneurship is noteworthy, with achievements such as bootstrapping a software company to a remarkable 15 million EUR in revenue, managing a team of 250 professionals across seven countries, and ultimately exiting the venture in 2021. His achievements were recognized in 2012 when he was honored with the prestigious Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.  Founded in 2018, under Janne’s leadership, Kelluu has swiftly established itself as a key player in the creation of digital twins, catering to various applications and industries.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Janne shares his insights on how Kelluu's innovative hydrogen-powered airships are poised to revolutionize the way we approach aerial data collection, offering scalability and efficiency across numerous sectors. 

Oct 10, 2023

How is cutting-edge radar technology shaping the future of drones and advanced air mobility?

Tom Driscoll is CTO and Founder of Echodyne, a Seattle startup bringing breakthrough radar capability to meet commercial and defense needs across autonomy, security, and intelligence markets.  At Echodyne, Tom leads the company’s world-class R&D efforts.  Prior to Echodyne, Tom was Managing Director of the Metamaterials Commercialization Center at Intellectual Ventures, the technology incubator which launched the world’s first metamaterials-enabled ventures.  Recognized as a  technologist, inventor, and entrepreneur with a drive to advance the art of the possible, Tom is a named inventor on over 100 patents, has co-founded five startups, and serves on the board of directors of three.  He holds a PhD in physics from University of California San Diego, a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd, and is an adjunct professor at Duke University.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Tom talks about Echodyne’s innovative radar sensors and how they’re used in the drone industry, most notably to support advance air mobility.

Sep 26, 2023

How can we make search and rescue training more real?

 

Roger Hall is CEO and Founder of 2D Dummies.  2D Dummies is reshaping the future of public safety training with their patent-pending, two-dimensional rescue manikins.  Designed to precisely simulate the physical attributes & thermal signature of the human body, the 2D DUMMY is the ultimate solution for heightening the authenticity of training drills for public safety professionals.  The 2D dimensional manikins have been used to enhance UAS search and rescue teams in variety of training scenarios, including firefighting, law enforcement, and military settings.

 

Roger is a retired firefighter with a 25-year career in New Hampshire and a passion for aviation. Holding both FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot and Part 61 Sport Pilot Certificates, Roger transitioned into the field of unmanned aerial systems after retirement. As one of DARTdrones' first UAS instructors, he has trained over 1,000 individuals and co-developed their Part 107 and Public Safety Training programs.

 

Always seeking to introduce reality into his training sessions, he developed a 2D dummy as a prop.  Continued refinement and feedback led him to produce a life-like 2D Dummy that enhances public safety UAS search and rescue training.

 

In this edition of the Drone  Radio Show, Roger talks about how 2D Dummies are used in public safety UAS training to enhance search and rescue capabilities and build emotional resilience within organizations. 

Sep 12, 2023

Philip Butterworth-Hayes is publisher and editor of Unmanned Airspace.info, the world’s first internet-based information portal dedicated to the global community of UTM and C-UAS system providers and operators.  The site provides daily news on UTM and C-UAS development and deployments, alongside a glossary of system providers and current plans of states and agencies to deploy systems worldwide.

Philip has extensive experience as a consultant and writer specializing in air traffic management, aviation safety, military and civil aviation issues. He was formerly Managing Editor of Jane’s Transport Press and editor of Jane’s Airport Review, Jane’s World Airlines, Jane’s Defense Industries and Jane’s Aircraft Component Manufacturers.

He has been the Director of Communications and Strategy at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization in Amsterdam and is currently the editor of Skyway, the official journal of EUROCONTROL, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation.

He is the editorial director of PMI Media Limited, specialist contract publishers for the defense and aerospace industries, whose clients have included the European Defense Agency and Airbus Defense and Space. He is also a regular contributor on ATM and aviation safety issues to global broadcast and print media, including the BBC, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Philip highlights five trends shaping urban air mobility today and he talks about some of the communities that are leading the way in air mobility.

Aug 22, 2023

How will crewed and uncrewed aircraft systems fly in the same airspace?

Toni Drummond is President US for Titan Aviation Global, a worldwide aviation management, jet charter and sales company.  Titan’s mission is to be the most trusted advisors for the best private travel experience, by providing a personalized, efficient, safe and convenient experience to all who fly with them.

Toni is a highly recognized private and emerging aviation specialist, with a unique background in business jet flight operations, aviation logistics & regulations as well as sales and business development. With an education in Business Management, she has held management positions within the world’s leading aviation companies until starting her first aviation consulting business in 2008.

Toni is an expert  in sustainable and emerging aviation ecosystems using eVTOL and hybrid vehicles. She spends much of her time traveling and speaking around the world about sustainable flight departments and efforts leaning into collaborative future facing air mobility. She consults on emerging aviation projects in vertical infrastructure & electric charging, EVTOL & sustainable ecosystems as well as emerging UAS technologies.

Global Aerial Management Group, which is Drummond’s first women owned emerging technologies company, was the winner of the 2021 Women and Drones Team Innovation award. She was also named as one of the Top 100 Women to Watch in aviation & aerospace in 2021 & 2022. Toni is a member of the National Business Aviation Association’s Emerging Tech Committee and Co-Chair of National Air Transport Association’s Advanced Air Mobility Committee.

As efforts continue to integrate uncrewed aircraft into the national air space, there are questions as to whether uncrewed systems should be integrated with crewed systems in the same airspace.  Currently there exists a gap between crewed and uncrewed aviation. That gap has cultivated a sense of mistrust across technologies and industries, but it’s one that extends to the general public as well. 

This year’s Commercial UAV Expo will dedicate a full day to this gap through the UAV Expo’s Advance Airspace Summit.  This Commercial UAV Expo Summit will discuss where the industry is today, how the technology will evolve over the next decade to bridge this gap, what regulatory changes will likely be necessary, and what challenges the industry will face related to passenger expectations and public acceptance. Toni Drummond will be one of the moderators for the UAV Expo Advance Airspace Summit.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Toni talks about Titan Aviation Global and advance airflight, the challenges and opportunities for integrating crewed and uncrewed systems into the same airspace and how Commercial UAV Expo Advance Airspace Summit will help elevate the discussion among industry professionals.

Jul 3, 2023

Will Irish Drones Soon Deliver Coca Cola to Dallas Neighborhoods?

 

Bobby Healy is CEO and Founder of Manna Drone Delivery.  Manna is the world’s first aviation-grade B2B drone delivery service company.  The company designs, builds and operates unmanned aerial vehicles, which perform high-speed deliveries of up to 8 pounds in high-density suburban communities. 

 

The drone fleet is operated by Manna directly from a restaurant or dark kitchen facility and is accessible via API to food tech providers and online food platforms.  The service enables participating retailers and restaurants to reduce delivery times to a fraction of their current times and improve the consumer experience of delivery.  Manna received the first certificate for commercial drone delivery issued by the Irish Aviation Authority and European Aviation Safety Agency, opening up Europe-wide opportunities for the company.

 

Bobby Healy is an experienced inventor and technology entrepreneur specialising in booking engine software. He joined CarTrawler in 2005 having begun his career building computer games for Nintendo at 16 years of age.  Prior to joining CarTrawler, Bobby founded Eland Technologies which he later sold to airline technology giant SITA and remained as CTO until 2005.

 

Earlier this year, Manna received an investment from Coca-Cola HBC.  Manna also announced its first US drone delivery trial for Dallas, Texas, marking a significant milestone in the company’s plans delivery food and products to homes worldwide.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Bobby talks about Mannas successful Drone Delivery service, the strategic partnership with Coca Cola and the company’s plans for the expanding into the United States and other countries.

Jun 6, 2023

What is the Role of Drone Forensics in Protecting Against Drone Incursions

 

Grant Jordan is CEO at SkySafe, a leader in Cloud-based drone defense and airspace awareness solutions. Founded in 2015, SkySafe provides advanced technology to protect people and places against drone threats. The company’s technology allows governments, law enforcement, airports, corporations, cities, and more to manage their airspace with drone data and analytics.  Skysafe applies advanced radio technology, reverse engineering, and deep threat analysis to develop tools to safely and effectively operate authorized drones while protecting against threats to airspace security. 

 

The company has also evolved into a leader in the drone forensics space.  By performing deep data extraction on downed or recovered drones, Skysafe’s forensic technology allows investigators to match metadata with flight logs, serial numbers, and other unique identifiers. This process ensures that experts are able to decisively conclude that a drone they have in their possession is the same drone that was detected acting maliciously or illegally while it was in the air.

 

After graduating from MIT, Grant served as an officer in the US Air Force for four years.  At the Air Force Research Lab, he designed and built hardward systems for counter-IED missions and small UAVs, specializing in rapid product development for Special Forces units.  Grant has spoken at numerous conferences including DEFCON and the Commercial UAV Expo.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Grant talks about Skysafe, the company’s counter drone and forensics services, and the role that drone forensics have in an integrated counter drone solution.

May 30, 2023

What makes a drone good for tactical use?

 

Jon Becker is CEO and Founder of AARDVARK Tactical, a leading provider of tactical equipment and custom solutions.  AARDVARK Tactical has served leading defense and law enforcement agencies at home and abroad since 1987. 

The company finds, develops, and manufactures exclusively integrated products that excel in a variety of terrains and use-cases – from personal protective equipment to tactical sUAS, breaching technology, robotics, communication systems, and mission-specific kits.  Its singular focus is to enhance operator safety and mission effectiveness.

Jon has spent the past four decades dedicating himself to protecting tactical operators. He at just 17 years old. The company started out as a climbing equipment business, often selling gear to SWAT teams and operators. After attending law school and working in police litigation, Jon realized that the best way he could serve tactical operators was by producing and providing high-quality gear and products that would enhance operator safety on the job. After AARDVARK’s expansion and success, Jon founded PROJECT7, a provider of purpose-built, scalable and configurable tactical platforms.

Jon has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s top law enforcement and military units, including the amazing leaders who guide their teams through some of the most dangerous situations and encounters imaginable.   He has keynoted for many years on the leadership of elite units and what he terms "culture-centric" leadership, and he the host and creator of “The Debrief”, a non-profit podcast that shares stories of leadership under fire with the world. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Jon talks about AARDVARK Tactical, the release of the new Loki-2 drone for tactical use and the challenges and opportunities in the use of drone for public safety.

May 23, 2023

Can drones deliver the mail?

 

Michael Merritt is Commercial & Growth Manager at Skyports Drone Services.  Skyports Drone Services is a drone logistics company and provider and operator of eVTOL drones for cargo deliveries, survey and surveillance. The company is expert in the operation of long-range and Beyond Visual Line of Sight flight for a multitude of use cases, including ship-to-shore and maritime applications, medical and dangerous goods deliveries, and AI-driven surveys for the agriculture and infrastructure sectors.  Headquartered in London, Skyports Drone Services has projects operating across four continents including Asia, North America, South America, and Europe.

 

At Skyports, Michael leads on strategy & operations, particularly in the area of drone deliveries.  He has also worked as a flight operations engineer and pilot, gaining hundreds of hours of flight time experience and operating flights across many of Skyports Drone Services’ projects.  Michael studied as an Aerospace Engineer at the University of Bristol and holds General Visual Certificates for fixed-wing and rotary drone operation.

 

Recently, Skyports Drone Services announced the launch of the Orkney I-Port project, a fully electric drone logistics project established in partnership with Royal Mail, the Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority and Loganair.  The project will deliver two new capabilities: daily inter-port delivery of Royal Mail items and the demonstration of shore-to-ship deliveries. The I-Port project is significant as it represents the first UK drone delivery project which can be conducted on a permanent basis under existing regulatory frameworks, a milestone made possible due to the unique landscape of Orkney. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Michael talks about Skyports Drone Services, the Orkney I-Port project and how Skyports is working to create a permanent daily mail delivery service supported by drones.

May 16, 2023

Which countries are leading in Counter UAS Technology?

 

Mary Beth Long is a member of the board of directors of Red Cat Holdings.  Red Cat Holdings is a military technology company that integrates robotic hardware and software to provide critical situational awareness and actionable intelligence to on-the-ground warfighters and battlefield commanders. Its mission is to enhance the effectiveness and safety of military operations domestically and globally – and to “Dominate the Night.” Red Cat’s suite of solutions includes Teal Drones, developer of the Golden Eagle, a small unmanned system with the highest resolution imaging for nighttime operations, and Skypersonic, a leading provider of unmanned aircraft for interior spaces and other dangerous environments. 

I have published previous podcast interviews with both Red Cat Holdings subsidiaries. Episode 309 features George Matus, CEO of Teal Drones and Episode 386 features Giuseppe Santangelo CEO of Skypersonic.

Mary Beth is founder of M B Long & Associates, an international legal and advisory firm. From 2007-2009, Mary Beth served as the first woman confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as Chair of NATO’s High Level Group, responsible for NATO’s nuclear policy. In her defense department roles, she also acted as Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense on the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, Asia, and Southeast Asia; and was the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter Narcoterrorism with a budget of over $1 billion. To those credentials, she adds more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency operational experience on terrorism and other security issues. 

After leaving government, Mary Beth founded Metis Solutions LLC. Under her tenure as CEO, the company was recognized in Inc. Magazine’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2015, and 2016. She was recently featured in Forbes magazine’s Women Business Leaders. Mary Beth advises several Fortune 500 companies on international defense markets. She has served as a Senior Subject Matter Expert for the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and as a Senior International Advisor to the Minister of Defense of Colombia. 

Mary Beth has advised several Presidential candidates and appears regularly on Fox News, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera English and NPR on Middle East issues and the Intelligence Community. She is a licensed lawyer and, from 1999 until 2004, was an associate specializing in civil litigation matters at Williams & Connolly LLP.  She also travels regularly to the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Afghanistan and has offices in Abu Dhabi and Kabul. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Mary Beth talks about Red Cat Holdings, the current challenges and opportunities for counter drone solutions and the future of protecting critical assets from drone incursions. 

May 9, 2023

How is drone delivery progressing in other countries?

 

Manoel Coelho is CEO of Speedbird Aero, a leader in the development of intelligent uncrewed aircraft systems. The company's advanced drone hardware and software solutions are designed to address a range of logistic challenges, from package delivery to emergency response.  Their mission is to enable safer, faster and more efficient logistic operations using autonomous drone technology.  By unlocking the potential of the sky for commercial, industrial, and healthcare use cases, the company is positively impacting businesses and people's lives around the world.

 

Manoel is an Entrepreneur and Business Leader with more than 20 years of successful and progressive experience in leading sales and marketing teams with proven ability to implement innovative business solutions that effectively enhance organizational productivity and profitability levels. He excels in developing business cases that showcase value propositions and influence leadership decisions and strategic direction.  He has led Speedbird Aero as CEO for the past five years.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Manoel talks about Speedbird Aero, the company’s drone delivery operations and logistics and how the company is making a positive impact.

May 2, 2023

Are digital twins about to change the way we see the world?

 

Nilson Kufus is CEO and Co-Founder of Zurich-based Nokomo.  Nomoko creates digital twins that can be implemented for everything from urban planning to music festival security. The company  is on a mission to make the physical world accessible as a digital ecosystem using Digital Twins. With a focus on real estate, Nomoko strives to create virtual copies of individual buildings, larger districts, or even whole municipalities. This helps customers to visualize their projects and to gain informed insights in order to make the right decision at any time.

Nilson has a degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences from the University College Maastricht, where he built his curriculum around business, artificial intelligence, and media. He has been a Digital Shaper of Switzerland 2019, a TedX Salon speaker, and Guest lecturer at ETH Zürich & FH HWZ.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Nilson talks about Nomoko, the company’s quest to build a digital twin of the world and how digital twins will revolutionize the way we see and interact with the world.

Apr 25, 2023

How are precision drones revolutionizing hazardous jobs and saving lives?

Robert Dahlstrom is founder and CEO of Apellix, a software-driven aerial robotics company, that creates cutting-edge robotics platforms for precision painting, coating, cleaning, and testing, making hazardous jobs safer by removing the risks of personal harm.  Apellix's technology enables pressure cleaning and special coatings to be applied to large infrastructure assets like highway bridges, water towers, oil rigs, and battleships, saving tax dollars and private expenditures while extending the life of assets.

Apellix also provides technology for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) at an unprecedented level. Using Apellix NDT aerial platforms, cruise ship owners, Navy battleship commanders, or state departments of transportation can collect 1,000 readings on a surface where, in the past, only 10 or 20 readings could be taken.

Robert has six fully granted U.S. patents and has received numerous engineering, invention, and teaching awards. He has also published over 50 papers and articles, spoken at multiple conferences, events, and podcasts, and is an author of a chapter on Robotic NDE Inspection in "The Handbook of NDE 4.0." Robert is an FAA-certified drone Pilot, a business mentor for “Startup Quest,” “Startup Weekend by Google for Entrepreneurs,” and a volunteer at startup accelerators.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Robert talks about how Apellix's revolutionary drones are making it safer and more efficient to complete hazardous jobs, including coating, pressure cleaning, and non-destructive testing.

Apr 18, 2023

Is India the next hot spot for unmanned business?

Ankit Mehta is Co-founder & CEO of ideaForge, India’s largest manufacturer of drones for defense, homeland security and industrial applications.  IdeaForge was founded in 2007, with a mission to bring cutting-edge unmanned aerial systems to these industries.  Over the past decade, the company has emerged as a leader in the Indian drone industry, with a focus on innovation, reliability, and safety.

IdeaForge is a pioneer in the UAV industry and has multiple IPs to its credit.  One of the key factors that sets Ideaforge apart from its competitors is its focus on indigenous design and development. The company's drones are designed and manufactured entirely in India, which has helped it to establish a strong foothold in the domestic market while also making it an attractive partner for global clients.

At ideaForge, Ankit is leading the charge to deliver cutting-edge technology that is Made-in-India and second to none.  One of those innovations is the SWITCH UAV, a first of its kind VTOL and fixed wing hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. SWITCH features advanced flight time, higher safety and simple operation with additional fail-safe redundancies.  It is used for long duration operations, long endurance surveillance and security, inspection and photogrammetry. It is so good, the Indian Army selected the Switch above all others to strengthen its unmanned presence.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Ankit talks Ideaforge's journey, its approach to innovation and R&D, and its vision for the future of drones in India and beyond. We'll also discuss some of the challenges and opportunities facing the Indian drone industry, and the role that Ideaforge hopes to play in shaping its growth and development.

Apr 4, 2023

What is a Chapter 135 certification and how does it relate to drone deliveries?

Yariv Bash is CEO and Co-founder of Flytrex, a drone delivery company that partners with retailers and restaurants to offer fast, safe and cost-effective airborne deliveries directly to customers' yards. Flytrex operates the largest backyard drone delivery service in the US, with delivery stations in North Carolina and Texas operating daily, and has signed agreements with several of the world's largest retail and restaurant chains. 

Yariv has spearheaded Flytrex delivery services for 5 years.  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 January, Flytrex announced its longtime partner Causey Aviation Unmanned was granted Standard Part 135 Air Carrier Certification from the FAA allowing Flytrex to operate and complete long-range on-demand commercial drone deliveries in the United States.

This milestone comes after years of rigorous training and testing verifying that Flytrex’s drone delivery service maintains the highest safety standards. With this part 135 Certification, Flytrex and CAU will further expand their drone delivery service nationwide – eventually offering food, drinks and other goods to the more than 82 million eligible back and front yards across the U.S. This approval has only been granted to a prestigious list of select companies – including Amazon Prime Air, Alphabet’s Wing, UPS and Zipline – to date.

 

Since successfully launching the world’s first fully autonomous urban drone delivery system in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2017, Flytrex and Causey have been working closely with regulators to help ensure the highest safety standards in getting drone delivery off the ground. Together, they participated in the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which concluded in October 2020, as well as the FAA’s subsequent initiative, BEYOND, working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to help tackle the remaining challenges of UAS integration.

 

 In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Yariv talks about the Chapter 135 certification process, how it differs from a Part 107 certification, and how Flytrex and Causey are now positioned to delivery restaurant orders to homes throughout the country.

Mar 28, 2023

 Are Hydrogen Drones Ready To Take Center Stage?

Ben Levenson is Co-founder and CEO of HevenDrones, a manufacturer of heavy-lift actionable drones capable of solving a range of commercial, infrastructural, humanitarian and military challenges.  From autonomous last-mile delivery to defense missions, emergency response, and infrastructure repair the company’s fully-customizable drone solutions deliver cutting-edge performance, patented stability and superior lifting capability. Powered by an expert team with military, engineering, and scientific backgrounds, the company enjoys a strategic partnership with Plug Power and is a partner and supplier of the Israel Ministry of Defense.

In February, HevenDrones launched its first hydrogen-powered drone for commercial use, the H2D55. With 5-times greater energy efficiency than traditional lithium battery-powered drones, the H2D55 is capable of flying for 100 minutes with a payload capacity of 7 kilograms.

The launch of HevenDrones’ hydrogen product line addresses the challenge of flight endurance and payload capacity associated with lithium battery-powered drones as well as the long term environmental impact linked to lithium mining. Without the need to frequently replace batteries, hydrogen fuel cells will also lower long term ownership costs for organizations implementing drone technology at scale.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Ben talks about HevenDrones, the company’s innovative hydrogen drones and the promise and future hydrogen propulsion systems.

Mar 14, 2023

Can autonomous drones be deployed in urban areas?

Reese Mozer is President of Ondas Holdings and CEO and Co-Founder of American Robotics.  Ondas Holdings is a leading provider of private wireless data and commercial drone solutions.  The Wireless data solutions are provided via Ondas Networks.  The commercial drone solutions are provided through American Robotics and newly acquired Airobotics.  Together, American Robotics and Airobotics design, develop, and market autonomous commercial drone solutions worldwide.  Their  Scout System and Optimus System are highly automated, AI-powered drone systems capable of continuous, remote operation.  American Robotics has also led with regulatory successes, becoming the first company approved by the FAA to operate automated drones without humans on site. 

Right after being acquired by Ondas Holdings, Airobotics announced a $3.5M purchase order and joint venture with SkyGo, a UAE-based company that has a commercial license to provide unmanned aerial transport of goods and services across the city of Abu Dhabi.  With this partnership in place, the companies will move forward in launching a first-of-its-kind deployment of Urban Drone Infrastructure throughout Abu Dhabi.  The project will serve as the autonomous UAS model for the rest of the world, especially in major cities. 

Reese is an accomplished entrepreneur, executive, and technologist, with over 12 years of experience in the drone, robotics, and private equity sectors. He also serves as a Board member of the Commercial Drone Alliance.  Reese has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Business Insider, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Venture Beat, and CNBC, among other national publications. He holds a Master’s in Robotic Systems Development from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Reese talks about American Robotics & Airobotics autonomous drone solutions, the Urban Drone Infrastructure project for Abu Dhabi and what we can expect to see in the way of global adoption of autonomous drone solutions.

Mar 7, 2023

If you could design a drone specifically for public safety agencies, what would it look like?

Blake Resnick is CEO and Founder of BRINC.  BRINC designs, manufactures and sells sUAS systems to public safety departments worldwide. The company’s flagship product, the LEMUR, employs innovative solutions designed specifically for public safety and emergency situations.  Using lidar technology, the drone flies indoors with precision and unprecedented agility, and its two-way communication system allows first responders to hear and see through the drone. But this only scratches the surface of the drone’s capabilities.

Blake has the innate ability to define a problem, imagine a new approach and create a technology-based solution.   He started taking college courses at the age of 14, and then attended Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. Before launching BRINC, Blake worked at McLaren Automotive, Tesla Motors, and DJI. He’s a member of the Thiel Fellowship’s class of 2020. Under Blake’s leadership, in just 2 ½ years, BRINC has become a leader of public safety UAS solutions worldwide.

He is currently working on an sUAS mesh system designed to respond to gunshot detections and 911 calls within seconds. When not enveloped in product development, he actively engages in recruiting, strategy development, internal communication, and fundraising. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Blake talks about BRINC drones, in particular it’s revolutionary LEMUR drone and he provides insights into how the company has become successful in supporting the mission of hundreds of public safety organizations around the world.

Feb 28, 2023

Are Drone Highways Gaining Momentum?

Brenk Skorup is Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center.  The Mercatus Center is a research center at George Mason University that advances knowledge about how markets solve problems and help us lead happier, healthier, and richer lives. For more than 40 years, research at Mercatus has strived to realize a world where markets operate at their full potential to increase abundance, civility, and well-being. 

The growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles has spurred a new UAS framework called "highways in the sky."  Drone highways in the sky are essentially designated air corridors that are reserved for the exclusive use of unmanned aerial vehicles. The idea is that these corridors would allow drones to fly autonomously, without the need for direct human supervision, while avoiding other aircraft and structures in the national airspace. 

One of the key benefits of drone highways in the sky is that they could significantly increase the efficiency and safety of drone operations. By providing a clear and well-defined path for drones to follow, drone highways could reduce the risk of collisions and enable drones to fly faster and more efficiently, potentially opening up new opportunities for commercial drone use.  But the concept is still in the early stages of development, and there are many different ideas and approaches being explored by researchers, regulators and industry stakeholders. 

Brent has published several research papers on the topic of drone highways in the sky.   His research has covered the economic, regulatory, and legal opportunities and constraints relating to drone highways.  In 2019 and 2022, he published a survey that assessed the regulatory environment for drones in all 50 U.S. states and evaluated each state’s readiness to support the growth and deve lopment of the drone industry. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Brent talks about drone highways in the sky, their benefits and the challenges local, state and federal policy makers may have in advancing the UAS industry while responding to varied stakeholder interests.

Feb 14, 2023

Are Agricultural Drones Coming To A Farm Near You?

Arthur Erickson is CEO of Hylio.  Hylio develops and offers innovative drone systems that automate precision agriculture treatments. Using Hylio’s technology, farmers or producers can apply crop treatments directly to problem areas, targeting pests and deficiencies with more accuracy and efficacy.  This allows farms to increase yields.  And it has propelled Hylio to one of the top manufactures of precision agriculture drones.

Arthur’s interest in UAS began when he was studying aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. While there, he worked with a research team to deploy drones for disaster prediction, response and transportation optimization. Recognizing the enormous potential of UAS technology, Arthur, along with classmates Mike Oda and Nikhil Dixit decided to form Hylio in 2015. While initially a drone delivery company based in Costa Rica in 2017, the team saw greater opportunities in the precision agriculture industry.  Today, Arthur leverages his technical and management experience to lead Hylio as it applies it revolutionary drone technology to the global ag-sector.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Arthur talks about Hylio, how the company evolved into a leading precision agriculture drone manufacturer and how UAS technology benefits farm organizations of all sizes.

Jan 31, 2023

Does the drone industry offer a career path for individuals from marginalized communities?

Sedgrid Lewis of Atlanta, Georgia is Founder of The Hidden Pilot Project.  The mission of The Hidden Pilot Project is to teach and train black returning citizens and citizens under the supervision of the criminal justice system how to become licensed drone pilots.  Through The Hidden Pilot Project, individuals are provided with hands-on training to enter the unmanned systems industry. 

Sedgrid Lewis holds an MA in Criminology from the University of West Georgia.  He has worked in the criminal justice field for the past 20 years developing evidenced based social programs for juvenile courts and state agencies across the United States.  He is also the owner of Blackhawk Aerial LLC.  As a part 107 commercial drone pilot, he has flown for several national construction firms providing progression aerial photos. 

Sedgrid has dedicated himself to helping others experience the benefits of unmanned technology.  He provides drone technology workshops for at-risk youth across the state of Georgia.  He is also a certified instructor and coach for US Drone Soccer, which is becoming a fast growing sport at the high school and college level.  And, as the son of a third generation farmer, Sedgrid partners with black farmers across the south to provide technical training and farm drone technology demonstrations.  Sedgrid promotes precision agriculture in order to sustain black farms and increase profit margins.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Sedgrid introduces us to The Hidden Pilot Project, drone soccer and how both are helping people from marginalized communities enter the aviation field.

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