First Published on Dronelife

drone show

You heard it right.  Get ready to offer your clients the best and safest spectacle available – a drone show.

Since the SuperBowl, the winter Olympic Games in South Korea, and shows at major events such as Burning Man, Coachella, and many others, massive drone shows have caught the publics attention.  Intelhas become a worldwide standard, they are rightly proud of the shows that have helped to educate the public while being environmentally friendly (no heavy metals as with fireworks).

While they are simple in theory, creating actual shows takes a lot of development effort and testing. Sophisticated systems, obviously, require more qualified personnel to operate. Simpler solutions, on the other hand, may reduce time required for staff training and allow them to concentrate on the show’s concept instead. Because not every event has the time and resources to hire Intel, Geoscan has developed a DIY drone show that makes the technology accessible to everyone.

Geoscan‘s educational quadcopter kit, named Pioneer, became a perfect platform: not only for introducing students to programmable drones, but also as a great structural unit for creating breathtaking light performances.  The weight of one quadcopter is only 300 grams (0.66 lbs), which is below regulation restrictions in most countries. (Purchasers should check their local regulations.). All drones use GPS and an industrial-grade autopilot for positioning, and have bright RGB LED array.

Each drone is pre-programmed and acts independently to fly in formation and maneuver for up to 7 minutes. This level of autonomy gives one operator the ability to control the swarm, and perform safe landing if necessary. Most clients use a swarm of 40 drones, that provides best cost-to-performance ratio and fits most occasions: but a 120-unit flight has also been performed successfully, so developers can think big!

What really distinguishes Geoscan from its competitors is that it offers a fully operational, ready-to-fly kit. Geoscan provides full training course and gives customers everything they need to start their own drone show business.  It’s a lucrative niche that pilots will want to get in on early – as drone shows for big events become more common, smaller local events will want to get in on the trend.

originally appeared on Drone News


Flying Taxis, Flying Burgers – Uber Targets 2021 for Drones

Uber Technologies Inc. has already made its plans for drone taxis clear.  Uber published a white paper outlining its plans for “on demand aviation” back in 2016.

While drone taxis in the US may seem to be a long way off, Uber has a shorter time frame for augmenting the popular Uber Eats service with food delivery drones, called within the company “Uber Express.”

In these days, large companies just can’t keep secrets.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber is advertising for an “operations executive” to bring the delivery drone project to implementation as soon as next year – and scale to other markets by 2021.  When the Journal contacted Uber for details, the company removed a related listing, saying it was still in “very early days.” 

Uber’s efforts at being first passenger drones, however, are not secret – and they have made progress.  Uber started a drone advertising campaign in 2016.  Last November, the company established a testing relationship with NASA to partner on UTM testing – establishing themselves as a stakeholder in low-altitude commercial operations.  At that time, Uber said that they hoped to test drone taxis in Los Angeles as early as 2020.  In May of this year, Uber formed a research and development agreement with the U.S. Army to work on silent vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger drones.

While Uber Elevate and the idea of passenger drones is a grand, paradigm shifting technology; Uber Express seems at first glance a more modest plan.  Uber Eats has become an important part of the company, The Wall Street Journal reports that UberEats is valued at approximately $20 billion.    Adding drones to the mix – which could both improve service to customers and cut down on driver costs – could boost the division even higher.

Challenges are certainly significant.  While delivery of medical supplies in remote areas like Rwanda have been successful, those systems don’t translate well to populated areas.  Residential drone delivery has been something of a holy grail for large companies like Amazon, who have invested significant resources in the project – and they aren’t there yet.  Manufacturing drones has proved very challenging for many companies not in the aerospace sector.  Regulations don’t yet support the scale implementation of drones in residential areas.  And a reasonable solution to support delivery in the last 50 feet of the trip just hasn’t been perfected.


But with one more large company working towards the goal, drone delivery doesn’t seem too far away.