The World of Drones and Robotics Congress 2020 was held in Brisbane on the 12th and 13th of November at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. It was a great opportunity to get an insight into some innovative drone and robotic applications across a diverse range of industries, as well as an insight to many key challenges in managing the growing volume of drones across our airspace.
Our quick dot point findings from the two day event are as follows:
- Worldwide consumer drone unit shipments will increased from 6.4 million units in 2015 to 67.7 million units annually by 2021.
- The Queensland Government is investing heavily to to be the nations drone and technology capital, with major testing centres in Cloncurry and Townsville.
- Covid-19 accelerated the need for drone applications, particularly in assisting with the delivery of supplies and medical test kits to remote locations or to those in quarantine.
- Demand of drones are higher in regions with lower population density.
- There is a positive correlation between employment the growing use of drones and robotics. While drones and robots may make some jobs redundant, ultimately the manufacturing, coding, distributing and operation of this technology contributes to employment growth.
- Australia is falling behind the rest of the world with the use of robotic applications (or other artificial intelligence) in the workforce. Australia only has 75 robots per 10,000 employees, while the world averages 113 robots per 10,000 employees. Singapore is leading with 831 robots per 10,000 employees.
- Most serious security incidents involving drones included:
1) Battlefield (Syria / Ukraine)
4) Sporting Stadiums
5) Emergency Services
6) Critical Infrastructure
7) Aviation / Airports
- The anti-drone industry is growing rapidly, with defence technology such as 3D Mimo Tracking Radars which are able to detect rogue drones the size of a Phantom 4 Pro at 100m altitude from 3km away. Drones flying illegally or which pose a security risk can have their control intercepted or can be bought down.
- 4D mapping is a powerful tool for mapping our cities, as well as creating an artificial visual learning environment for future autonomous aerial vehicles.
- The main challenges with the growth in the drone industry include:
- Coordination of airspace with unmanned and manned aerial vehicles.
- Legislation and governance surrounding third party manufactures, maintenance and distributors.
- Legislation and governance for drone users.
- Education to the public about the use and operation of drones and the different industry applications.
- Registration, licensing and tax.
The event was well organised, with a good mix of live and remote presentations, and a handy mobile application to view a rundown of each days program, exchange contact details, and to ask questions during the live presentations.
Congratulations to World of Drones and Robotics for hosting a successful event, and thank you for having the initiative to bring innovative minds together to share their ideas.