Drone technology conference hits Mayo

Technology | Mon 2 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
drones Greg Clarke

Some of the biggest players in drone technology will be speaking at the Drones Data X Conference taking place in the Knockranny House Hotel in Westport on Friday November 6th.

It is estimated that one million drones will be sold around the world this Christmas. Data capture by drones will be a huge industry in the future. By matching drones and their ability to capture large amounts of data quickly, industries like construction, agriculture and real estate will adapt and benefit.

According to CG Insights, investment in 2014 to the nascent drone industry topped €96m across 29 deals. Considering between 2010 and 2012, there were fewer than five VC deals to drone companies, this represents a year over year funding increase of 104%.

Over the last few years, companies like Facebook, DHL, Amazon and Google have invested heavily in drone technology. This is the second year the conference will be held in Ireland and speakers are amongst the best minds in drone technology.

Statewatch has reported that the EU have spent €315m on drone technology and this is where the opportunity lies. Ireland can position itself as the best country in Europe to test new technology and utilise new trends in the storage of data.

Mayo County Council has supported this event for the second year and are keen to lead the way in associating itself with these new sectors and trends.

Speakers at the event in Westport include:

Andy Cox is lead engineer, UAV team, at Facebook. He is responsible for Facebook’s internetorg plane. Over the last three years, Google and Facebook have been shopping for robotic and drone companies so they will be able to bring wireless connectivity to dead zones.

Ben Marcus, CEO of Airmap, is helping make an unmanned aircraft, or drone, part of everyday life by building the foundations for the low-attitude air navigation system of the future.

Primal Kopardekar, NASA principal investigator of NASA’s NextGen Airspace Project PK manages NASA’s air traffic related research and the R&D portfolio.

David Maloney is CTO and founder of Movidius, a leading vision processor company which has just announced that it raised $40m in new funding, the largest venture capital raise in Irish history.

Romeo Durscher is director at DJI. After 13 years working with NASA, Romeo joined DJI. The company was founded in 2006 and its HQ is in Shenzhen, China. It manufactures commercial and recreational UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles). The company is at the forefront of the civilian drone industry.

Ernest Earon is co-founder and CTO at Precision Hawk. Earon was named Upstart 100 in 2015 as the top 100 business innovators driving the new economy. Precision Hawk is an autonomous UAV performing low altitude aerial data collection, management and analysis. Earon had previously led development teams for the Canadian Space Agency.

Photo: Greg Clarke