The finalists have been chosen and the battle has already begun. On June 21-22, the Commercial UAV Expo in Europe hosts the Drone Hero Europe contest to find the best of the best drone companies in categories of innovation, creativity, international potential, best start-up, and highest overall potential.
A sixth category – the public drone hero award – goes to the finalist video with the most votes from the public. You can vote for your favorite here until June 22.
The contest will take place at the Commercial UAV Expo Europe, a conference and exhibition focused on the commercial drone industry, which will be held in Brussels June 20 – 22. Organizers say that the contest was designed to provide a platform for innovative drone companies, helping to connect them with supporters and customers.
A jury of industry experts selected 10 finalists from more than 30 submissions. “A difficult task”, said jury president Peter Van Blyenburgh. “But we managed and are very happy with the high level of contestants that are now in the final stage of the competition.”
Each competitor will deliver a short pitch to convince the jury that they are the best Europe has to offer. Winners will receive the chance to participate and exhibit at The Commercial Drone Expo of the Americas, held in Las Vegas next fall.
The 2017 Drone Hero Europe finalists are:
• High potential: Unifly (BEL) & DroneRadar (POL)
• Creative: Drones4right2life (POR) & UCL (BEL)
• Innovative: Voliro (SWI) & Mine Kafon (NED)
• Start-up: Vectrino (CRO) & Cargocopter (BEL)
• International: Ampyx Power (NED) & DroneGrid (BEL)
Finalist offerings are representative of the drone industry’s broad scope. Unifly provides UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) solutions; DroneRadar offers a drone tracking and registration tool. Drones4right2life is a tool for monitoring migrant routes in order to save the lives of refugees; UCL introduces construction drones, drones to actually carry building blocks of masonry or timber. Voliro makes a drone which can hover in any orientation – including vertically or upside-down. Mine Kafon has a solution that could eliminate land-mines in war-torn regions. The Vectrino product could help reduce the effects of mosquito-borne illness. The Cargocopter combines technologies of fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones to create a high-speed, endurance drone. Ampyx Power has created the Ampyx Power Wind Energy System, a tethered-drone that acts as a wind turbine. And DroneGrid provides innovative data analysis tools.
Regardless of the winners, the finalists demonstrate that the drone industry is always innovating. Europe’s newest “Drone Heroes” may be global drone heroes soon.
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.
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