Our favorite part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has wowed again, as the Drone Rodeo – which sounds almost as cool as it is – took place today in the desert surrounding Las Vegas. Drones have been big news at CES 2016, with media reporting over 100 new models. With new drones everywhere at the show, the rodeo provides a showcase for them: an opportunity to do what they’re supposed to, and fly. From large to tiny, drones and their accessories took center stage.
Some of the highlights include the tiny paper airplane on a drone PowerUp FPV, developed in partnership with Parrot, taking its first public flight at the rodeo. PowerUp generates it’s own WiFi signal to live stream the flight straight to a user’s smartphone and allowing them to share the footage via Wi-Fi with any social media service.
USA Today reporters thought that Avegant’s Glyph was one of the coolest drone accessories; an FPV headset described as a “personal theater” to enhance the drone experience. The Glyph puts the operator into the driver’s seat of the drone, showing them what the drone sees.
Proving once again that drones are the ultimate selfie tool, Flynixie, a “wearable camera that can fly,” demonstrated a tiny, wearable drone camera that seemed to boomerang back to the operator when launched. There were racing drones, sport drones, drone art, and cameras galore. Drone manufacturer Parrot covered all bases, demonstrating their commercial applications with Sensefly, and the Parrot Bebop drone, touted as a great “newbie” drone for hobbyists, with sensors that will balance the drone so that it is easier to fly.
In addition to showing off some of the coolest new toys and tools at CES this year, the Drone Rodeo provided an interactive experience that caught the media’s eye, generating stories and live streaming on major channels like ABC and USAToday. Finally knocking the FAA registration program off of the first page, Drone Rodeo provided a welcome focus on the more fun and interesting aspects of drone technology.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.