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The Biggest Drone Announcements From AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018

AUVSI XPONENTIAL is an annual trade show for all things drones, robotics and unmanned ingenuity. It's where people and companies in the drone industry meet to assess the competition, explore what's to come and sometimes, make a big announcement or two.

This year's show in Denver, Colorado was no different, with more than 8,500 industry leaders and 750 companies represented. Here are some of the big headlines that you might have missed.

The AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Awards

Much of the focus this year was on the topic of 'drones for good'. Unmanned systems are getting smarter and more capable and, when put in the hands of first responders, can be life-saving tools.

To celebrate the potential of drone technology to aid emergency services, AUVSI and DJI jointly launched the XCELLENCE Humanitarian Awards. 5 companies/organizations were recognized for their humanitarian efforts, including:

  •  Aeryon Labs Inc, or their efforts supporting first responders in Sint Maarten after Hurricane Irma.
  • DroneSAR UAV, for their Search and Rescue software, which helps emergency teams locate victims and keeps search teams safe.
  •  DroneSAR Chile, South America's first drone-based search and rescue organization.
  • Nepal Flying Labs, who won an award for missions in Nepal in the aftermath of earthquakes that left families separated and homes destroyed.
  • Zipline International, the company pioneering medical drone delivery in Rwanda, sending bloods and supplies to hard-to-reach clinics.

AUVSI and DJI awarded $5,000 to each of the winners to support innovation moving forwards.

Kittyhawk and Jeppesen team up LAANC authorizations

Drone operations platform Kittyhawk announced a collaboration with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, as the two seek to provide digital airspace authorization through the FAA's Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program.

statement from Kittyhawk said the company’s “unwavering commitment to quality and utility means that this will be a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) implementation unlike any other LAANC implementation currently on the market. Starting with their dedication to intuitive design, Kittyhawk and Jeppesen will streamline the LAANC authorization process to be as easy to use as modern drones are to fly.”


DroneBase and Airbus partner to combine drone and satellite data

One final story you might have missed in the blur of news coming out of AUVSI 2018: DroneBase announced a partnership with Airbus Aerial to deliver a unique multi-source solution for aerial imagery and data from a single provider.

Put simply, we're working to combine our localized drone operations with Airbus' satellite intelligence, to provide businesses and organizations with a one-stop shop for all levels of aerial data and insight.

Want to better understand how aerial imagery from drones and satellites can complement your business? Read more about our partnership with Airbus Aerial here.

Tags: Drone Industry Drone Innovation Drones
Malek Murison
Malek Murison

Malek Murison is a technology journalist based in London who covers drone industry news and product reviews for DroneLife. He's written features for the Financial Times and works with some of the drone world's most exciting startups.


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