All Abuzz at Drone Expo Ireland 2016
Saturday, April 16, 2016
It's been two weeks since this midlife, stay-at-home-mum/blogger was plucked from the comfort of a lazy Sunday afternoon in her own home, and deposited at this techie event in the RDS, Dublin.
Well I thought it was something that was bound to be of interest to my techie teenager you see, and we'd all do absolutely anything to get them out and about. Right?
Besides, they were bound to have a coffee dock/tea station where I could base myself - content with cuppa, book and phone - while my son went to explore all things drone-like. Weren't they?
At least that was the vague plan I had in mind.
But there was - if you'll pardon the pun - a distinct buzz in the air as soon as we arrived at this event. Which enticed me to have a quick glance around first, before I settled into a quiet little corner.
The first thing we saw, and heard, was a small drone in flight. In demonstration of it's tininess and durability.... and it's puchasability too. Naturally since tempting children, teenagers and techie adults to part with their dosh was the sole purpose! It was quite cool though.....
Moving swiftly on we then watched the demonstration of the larger Typhoon H model from the other side of the barriers at the 'Drone Racing' section, followed soon after with an outside demonstration. Fascinating stuff (as was the drone racing) ..... for my techie teen ;)
Although I was of course just biding the time until I could happily ensconce myself in the little coffee shop, I did notice how interested everyone truly was in this technology. Both the above demonstrations were flooded with members of our Civil Defence, who had a constant stream of interesting questions as to the capabilities and possibilities of these devices. And members of the Gardaí and Ambulance Service had been in attendance the previous days also.
I therefore began to become very aware of the endless possibilities of these drones. Especially after reading this newspaper article the previous day. How they can assist with aerial photography, film-making, surveying and how new up-and-coming thermal heat imagery will increase their potential even more. I heard tell that this will be of huge assistance to fire-fighters fighting fires, army personnel out on peace-keeping missions and can even survey your house and tell you where you're losing heat! And if that's not enough I also heard that the first drone-drop of a parcel from land to an oil rig has recently occurred!
The more I saw and heard the less likely my tea-drinking and book-reading session was becoming.
I mean the place was literally abuzz with all kinds of fascinating drones.....
And with talks about drones too. Some of which we attended and attentively listened to.
We particularly enjoyed being part of the live tweet filmed courtesy of a teeny-tiny camera attached to a petite drone.
And I really loved the talk by Gearóid from iflytechnology on the 10 steps on turning your drone into a business. It was very well presented. We also heard all about their Drone Aviation courses. Which of course was of great interest to a certain teenager!
Regulations pertaining to drones is an ever-developing area and one of great importance to the Drone industry in Ireland. This was taken quite seriously by this event and the Irish Aviation Authority were in attendance to share their knowledge and advice.
This expo also included a stand from the Engineering Department of Trinity College Dublin, explaining their work on robots to help with personal care at home. For the elderly and those who may need it.
You know, this expo was not only tending to the techie-minded needs of those in attendance - it was also practically a careers guidance course for teenagers! As a parent it was interesting to see how grown adults had put their hand-eye coordinating skills, gleaned from their screen-playing childhood years, to good use. You know where I'm going with that, right?!
As for me, well, I didn't spend that long in the coffee shop after all. Just a quick pit-stop. Before I went ski-ing.
Not quite in reality. More like in virtual reality....... courtesy of some Samsung Gear VR Goggles!
Oh that was such fun. I really felt that I was flying down those ski slopes. So much so that I was clinging on to the sides of the chair for dear life! An amazing 'trip'.
Our visit to this event subsequently came full circle and we ended right back where we started.
Back at the mini-drone demonstration. For the purchase of his own personal, petite Vista Drone. With his own personal dosh, of course. This drone has a ten minute battery life and really is quite cool. It takes the wall and obstacle bashings of poor landings very well too. A great starting point for someone taking an interest in drones. I anticipate a flying summer ahead!
This year's Drone Expo, which took place from April 1st to April 3rd, seems to have been a great success. We certainly enjoyed it and there were lots of attendees - including a very famous one - on the day we were there!
I would think that next year's Expo would be even bigger and create even more interest in this ever-growing industry.
Keep it in mind. Your techie teenager might enjoy. Plenty of time for him, or her, to start saving. If a drone purchase is likely to be on the cards ;-)
And they do have a nice little coffee shop.
Although you too may find that you'll spend less time there than anticipated ;-)
Disclaimer: As friends of one of the co-founders we received free entrance to this event. In return for some tweets - which I would have done anyway! This honest blog post is because I wanted to. For those of you with similar-minded teenagers.