Christmas may come early for many British UAV lovers as one of Europe’s top start-up/tech-sector conferences has announced that drones will fly high as a hot topic this year.
“We don’t just plan to talk about the Cloud at TechCrunch Disrupt London in two weeks,” TechCrunch writer Mike Butcher announced Friday. “The conference will also cover the booming world of Drones that are literally in the clouds,” he added.
The event has been described by Disrupt organizers as a gathering of “the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.”
Panelists will include:
Chris Blackford: DRONELIFE readers may recall Blackford as the co-founder and operations director of Sky-Futures, “a British company that dominates the use of drones to collect and analyze inspection data for oil and gas companies.” Sky-Futures currently boasts more than 30 oil-and-gas clients and the company says it grew its business by 700 percent in 2014. Blackford has stated that the company has gained “a head-start over the U.S because we understand pretty intimately the problems facing the oil and gas market, and how we can solve them with technology.” TechCrunch touts Blackford as offering an “extensive UAV experience with a strong understanding of the technical and operational complexities presented with commercial UAV operations.”
Jay Bregman: The founder and CEO of Verifly, Bregman left his taxi-flagging startup Hailo last year and started a new company seeking to be “the trust and compliance authority for drones and robots,” TechCrunch reports. “Unlike previous generations of computing technology, robots have a very special capability where they can move in space. They can bump into each other or into people. They can take pictures where they shouldn’t,” Bregman said in a CNET interview last year in Dublin. “The only way to regulate this is through an independent third-party company that produces compliance modules.”
Buddy Michini: The Chief Technical Officer of drone-industry wunderkind Airware, Michini offers an academic’s perspective. A PhD in aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, Michini has researched adaptive control design for drones, autonomous battery swapping, autopilot designs, as well as robot learning. As reported in DRONELIFE: “Airware is one of, if not the, most well funded drone startups in the world. They manufacture a very sophisticated drone operating system that integrates the company’s hardware, software, and cloud storage capabilities to do a lot of fancy flying and aerial data collection.”
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