Drone Industry Innovations and The Future of Drone Technology
We are you good morning, good evening and good eye. My name is paul and welcome to another episode of ask drone. You weve got a very thought provoking show today rob yeah im looking forward to it and uh. I have to admit that i feel like my input here is going to be limited, because there are so many different directions that we could go or that one could go in really thinking about this, so itll be exciting, itll be fun yeah and, as we were Saying in take one of this show, it would be a whole lot of fun if uh. This were an actual panel at a drone conference where you literally get everyone in a room and they write on a board what they believe. The most important innovations of the drone industry would be yeah, and then we pull the most outspoken people uh in the audience up on stage and have a very calibrated discussion about it. That would be a fun panel that would but in lieu of that wed love to hear from you and your comments relative to this subject, because uh have to imagine that a lot of you have some thoughts on this subject, and i dont know just there are Things that you would love to see say, drones be able to do or solve or whatever and wed really like to hear about those things because i know were gon na, probably think about three percent of whats out.
There sure – and i mean theres definitely room for input yeah, but todays question is definitely going to be a good one. Regarding what innovations could we bring to the industry right now to to totally change things, but before we get to that, todays show is brought to you by droneu is essentially having a mini fly in uh were calling it an experience, training just like the fly in Which was a conference focused on providing students with the opportunity to fly various missions to test their skills and to test their ability to well perform particular parts of drone jobs? Well, the experience training that were having this year in austin texas in november is seven days of training and its, unlike anything, weve ever done before its only open to eight students, because what were doing is were offering three days of training. Two days of scenario based tests and exercises where students are actually going to have to produce drone deliverables for a resort that we are staying at so yes, you drone pilots are going to be tasked with an actual drone job, its creative and technical. So this is definitely a a training thats going to test all facets of being a drone pilot and then before the training is over. The experience training is over. Drone. Pilots are actually going to have to present their deliverables to a panel thats going to include the actual owner of the property, so its going to be a whole lot of fun, its going to truly test your ability, but because we dont want to just have you Know throw your feet to the fire.
Kind of test were also going to offer trainings. That is included for this experience training. On top of all that, what does everyone who goes to the drone? You fly ins and the trainings talk about at the end. They love the camaraderie. They love the ability to learn from one another. Well in this experience, training guess what were doing youre actually staying on property with us. So we are all going to be in one huge, humongous property in austin texas, right on the lake. That way, you can get your questions asked and answered, and youll get time well to hang out with some friends in the drone industry. Now, on top of that, were actually throwing a bonus two day class because karas new course rob is just astronomical in value. What am i talking about scaling your drone business? How many drone businesses do you know that have scalable systems to automate the process of onboarding clients to automate the process of gaining information about drone jobs? How many drone businesses that you know have automation for drone delivery? Have automation for upselling prints of the drone jobs that you already produced and do you have automation for your newsletters? Do you have automation to keep your clients engaged and do you have automation that makes your business more efficient as a whole and cheaper to run? Well? Kara kalvaca, who used this automation to run her business during the pandemic. It literally saved her life.
She broke her back during the pandemic and well rob her business kept producing revenue thanks to these autonomous systems. So we are offering this scaling systems and sales course its two days. Long im not gon na lie, rob i am going to be implementing these systems, while people are going through the training because it is so powerful, it is astronomically powerful and i cant believe i havent done this in my own business and you just got ta give Mad props get it profs uh to kara, because she has autonomized her business to the extent to which she completely focuses on the creative deliverables and everything else. Just works like magic now. For me, that is like the pinnacle of success, because she is able to do everything in her business to the best possible capability and the least amount of effort. If you want to be like kara, you can join us for the scaling. Your drone business systems class thats also going to take place during or excuse me right after the experience training those eight seats for the experience training have this this course included for no extra charge. Now, if you want to come to the scaling your drone business systems class, there are 12 additional seats. On top of the eight. I promise you will not want to miss this course. It will be game changing for your business because youre going to be trained and then tasked to produce deliverables and then youre going to be tested on your ability to deliver them and get feedback.
So guess what? If you fail, you get to fail in front of us, not the client and save your business, but chances are youre not going to fail chances. Are you are going to have a whole lot of fun, youre, going to learn a whole lot and youre going to fundamentally transform your business into a sales machine into an automation machine? That way you can focus on what you truly love to do, which is flying? Hey rob paul: this is amit from toronto. I love listening to your show, guys keep it up. I had a long career in cyber security and currently im doing masters in innovation. I want to build an innovation driven drone startup, not a drone service provider. My question to you: what would be the top three gaps, domains or challenges in the current drone industry that needs more innovation or better solutions, would love to hear your crazy thoughts. Guys thanks thanks ahmed thats, a really great question and were pleased that you have sent it in. Thank you ask droneyou.com is where im at did that and uh what a cool pursuit that hes after right, i didnt even know that that was a degree masters in innovation. Thats super cool as well, but probably opens the door to a lot of work. You know probably does yeah yeah, yeah, im, sure theres dont go to silicon valley, go elsewhere anywhere yeah really seriously. I dont know what comes to mind for you its funny.
I was gon na. Ask you. First, i was gon na open up the door for you. First, i mean just based off everything that you hear from students the industry as a whole. I know you say you dont have a pedestal to speak from, but rob weve done. 1300. Episodes of this show yeah. So i think one i mean one of the things people would. Love is uh longer flight times. I think so. Changing up and innovating propulsion well, im gon na leave that for you, i was just thinking batteries, but i think when you add that into better batteries, then now youve got the best of both worlds coming together. To who knows? I mean why not think about flying. For 12 hours, well, you know whats, really interesting with that is weve, seen the the evolution and development of battery technology with dji and were seeing the importance of balanced batteries, thermally insulated batteries, um protecting from over discharge and protecting from uh. You know not being charged properly and whatnot, and a lot of people may not think that this is a is a big deal or an important aspect of being a drone manufacturer. But i really believe that we will not have a fundamentally um uh, comparable or a competitive drone to dji until we have a drone manufacturer, whos focused around changing propulsion, changing our battery and power plant systems because look at gm right. Gm is supposed to be.
This awesome – everyone invests in gm, says jim cramer uh, because theyve got this awesome platform that they can develop any electric vehicle off of well, we all learned that thats a sham and a lie uh because they just recalled the volt yeah. They just recalled all the volts because oh yeah, it might burn down your garage and you have to you, did you read? Did you read what they put out? You have to physically stay with the vehicle and watch it charge in order for it to be safe, speechless, yeah, exactly um gm. You might want to take a page out of djis book, uh or teslas. That was the one thing that truly impressed me by the way when i wrote in uh his name, which shall not be spoken. Tesla um is the battery management, how it even limited him from flooring the car once it was below 20 battery. Imagine what else it can control but thats a whole nother episode that was dark, thats the world we live in, but anyways i dont want to go there. I really dont i dont either because i wont ever buy a tesla because it doesnt have a physical key but thats just me uh anyway, so uh that said, um gm could learn from this. I think i think youre right on the money with propulsion right. If we had drones that could be flying much longer periods of time, it would definitely automate things like drone delivery.
It would allow for more robust drone services, and it just makes you wonder: when is uh the right battery technology, or maybe batteries arent the way to go, maybe its a hybrid propulsion system. I mean we know dod developed back in the early 2000s drones that could fly themselves perpetually because they created this algorithm on a fixed wing drone where it would have a pusher motor and a polar motor and the puller motor was actually a reverse polarity. So it was generating energy as the prop wash from uh. Excuse me, i got, i said puller and pusher. I mix them up lets just imagine a prop on the front of the drone and on the back, but its a fixed wing. Okay, and essentially the prop on the front of the drone, is powering the prop on the rear of the drone but its generating energy, and then they figured out this perfect undulating flight path where they could fly perpetually, and it just makes you wonder, thats amazing, why I havent, and i only know that, because i met the designer um, why do we not have something like that in uh in the air right now i mean you know why dont we have some sort of propulsion system that allows us to do a whole lot. More with drones, um i mean like how come we cant. You know miniaturize turbine systems for power generation. You know why cant theres. I know that theres a lot of what ifs, but to answer his question thats.
What hes asking he asked the what ifs to answer his question and to just to tackle on to what rob said. I agree: if we could change propulsion in these drones, it would be. It would be in immensely game changing for sure, yeah yeah for sure. So heres the next thing um i have to bring it up im happy. You are because it was literally all three topics of the news show yesterday. So if i, if youre going to say what i think youre going to say, i dont think i am okay. Well, lets hear it am i no. I want to talk about neurolink, oh nope, that wasnt numb, no, i didnt think so nope. So i met. Are you familiar with neurolink one of elon musks way out there companies its actually kind of a freaky concept that theyre working on as we speak? Look it up theres a two hour, video on youtube about it and it is actually happening. Engineers are hired blah blah blah, but you want to be way out there and what did you? What did you say, crazy ideas partner with mr elon and have it so that neuralink could uh fly drones, paul didnt, like my idea, i just thought it was. I i wondered how like what type of learning curve would be involved, because a lot of experienced pilots uh treat drones as lisa said, like an appendage right and youre, not really consciously thinking of roll right roll left its just like you know what to move to Get that to happen, and so im just curious yeah like first of all, i would not want a transmitter anywhere near my head.
No, no, no thats, why you would have to plug the neural ink into a transmitter, because i dont want all that radiation near my brain. Of course not yeah thats a whole different subject, but it has to be included youre right because just look up, neurolink and youll know were talking about if you dont already, because its pretty intense well, if you could use neuralink to learn anything or do anything. What would you do? Oh man, trade yeah me too, from a from a purely like cyclic, uh, secular, practical. Well, we now know where robs dreams lie Laughter yeah. I wish i was a lot better at that, but anyways you mentioned you mentioned parachutes. So is that really a thing that you think needs a lot of development? Well, i kind of wanted before the answer is yes, what it really comes down to, i would say, answer number two or i guess two three um would be revolutionizing the safety aspect of drones, um, because these parachute solutions are a joke. They do not make flying safer, they inhibit airflow, they make the cg all cattywampus on these drones, making them less stable, less capable and a lot of these parachute systems literally sit on top of the compass, like literally where your gps gets its information, and i have Seen more flyaways with students who have had the parachute on their phantom than without them, it literally makes the drone less safe, yet yeah, and so i guess, how could we develop a system like im thinking james bond right here? Okay, so hear me out, remember james bond, i dont know which james bond it is but hes like skiing down the hill and hes got this.
I think its a very old james bond and hes got this like backpack. That creates a bubble around him. In the case of an avalanche, do you remember that? And then he literally the avalanche happens and he pulls the rip cord and this bubble just you know instantly inflates around him. Why cant? We have that for drones, because then the drone is safe. It doesnt break when it hits the ground um whoevers staring there standing there staring at the drone and gets hit by it. Well, theyre, not gon na get hurt either might be a literal wake up call for him, though, but uh you know, but i mean. Can you imagine, would the faa even regulate drones at that point anymore? If drones were that safe, because i mean our safety record is superb and i feel like the faa and other people like auvsi – do a really good job of trying to report that were not that safe and that we need more enforcement. We need all these things. I i think its, i think its the opposite. Ive had faa administrators come up to me and say that they regret going after raphael. Perker i mean that says everything about the industry and regulation as a whole. In my opinion, if you dont understand that sentence, then you got a lot of learning to do, but my point is not to uh is not to dig at people. My point is to say is that the raphael perker case was like the start, to everything irregular regulation wise and for for people in the faa to say that they regret going after it.
I think says everything that we need to know about. The current state of regulations now that that said, thats my opinion, not the opinion of you uh that said Laughter, identity, um. That said, if our drones were safer, would they really be regulated because it goes back to right? The whole idea of the science behind regulating drones flying over people was the force and impact that they caused upon crashing, and we have virginia tech to thank so much for using the pilots that they did for those tests, because its a very low threshold of force, Which is great thats thats? What the industry needs, because these drones are very safe. If we have knowledgeable pilots who dont trust sensors to actually fly them, because sensors have flaws, uh a lot like tesla running into a back of an 18 wheeler at 90 miles an hour because of oh yeah. What reflectivity? Oh yeah! Why? Because the stereotype of cameras? Oh yeah, why? Because the rules of photogrammetry, i digress anyway, saver drones. So what were talking about here? Um, safer drones yeah, so i mean imagine a bubble, an inflatable bubble that if you were to crash it would just inflate and it would be like some nylon, material or whatever. So that way it doesnt get poked and prodded by a tree branch and break. You know it would like it would break the branch itself i dont know. Would it fill up with helium at the same time since its in the air that were talking about not in a avalanche? Well, then, that would be that would literally cause a flyaway itd.
Be the most beautiful fly away of all time. The slowest fly away it wouldnt. No, it would call a float away and i think maybe you would float away you couldnt find it. You put a beacon on it. I dont know uh lets see how far our drones can travel would have a whole new meaning. Well, its got ta float other or its got ta make it come down slow right, otherwise, whats the point. Well, i guess if it hits the ground fast, its gon na just bounce kind of thing is that yeah were getting weight. Ball were getting two into the weeds here i like it, though i think its fun to think about um, but now what innovation lets moving on to the next form of innovation? That we think would be absolutely crucial. Lets go back to the new show what we talked about this week in the news show where um the infrastructure bill is going to further limit, who can buy chinese drones or drones with chinese made parts. Now that covers everybody? Okay, but in a recent survey, 92 percent of all public safety drones are guess what chinese? Okay. Now, when it comes to cyber security, in my eyes, you cut the conduit, you cut the problem, okay and there was definitely legitimate problems with security, but theyre also very legitimately and easily fixed. In my opinion, my humble opinion that said what innovation could the industry really really benefit from and rob? You said it really well on our walk.
Do you remember that that little sentence that you used? No, it was just that we need a phantom competitor. We need a non dji drone thats dji, that we need a north american made aircraft that actually competes on size, price and features with something like a phantom yeah or even the mavic mavic 2. yeah yeah mavic, yes, but we can focus on the theorem thats. Okay. Well, the reason i brought up the phantom is for the technical deliverables and the the mavic doesnt. Do that um true at least not at scale. So, yes, i mean phantom, i mean something that you can put in a backpack. You can throw it in a truck, it is small, it is capable its got. A very reliable long distance communication signal a very reliable vtx. It doesnt cost 10 grand doesnt doesnt cost ten thousand dollars. You know that brings up a whole. Another podcast topic is where the hell are, these: damn american drones, where wheres tuned wheres, the air peak, wheres, the wheres, the little new ulta or whatever the free fly came out with, like ive, been on that damn list for a year now, anyway. Okay, i digress. It just showcases the problem that we really do need a sub two thousand dollar american made phantom drone. I mean we really need that it would solve all these problems um. If some of the existing manufacturers would get out of their myopic state of engineering, they would be a billionaires because they could provide exactly what we need and we dont a lot of these uh.
Other solutions. Dont have the reliability of the of the command and control link. They cant fly that far. They rely on sensors and the pilots not ultimately in charge, and that causes catastrophic problems, and essentially one of our students had the problem um anyway. Um long story short is im not trying to dig at anyone im trying to say that the the formula is not difficult. The difficulty is scaling the formula so that way they could sell the drone at a price point that makes sense, yeah and so youre. Now talking about a company thats got to produce its own power plant, meaning battery production, its got to produce its own escs, its got to produce its own flight controllers. Um – and you know, 3dr was really the best situated to do that at the time, but they were unable to scale um, and i mean autel is – is like right there, although its, you know, you know, while we love autel theyre still chinese made, and i know They have their new plant in california, and i know theyre working on all that. But again, when are we going to see a phantom drone, thus a camera sensor that is actually large enough to be flown to do creative and technical aspects, a drone that can fly further than 2000 feet out, because line of sight is technically just past that um, You know a drone that is reliable and works over time.
Its robust and its it provides consistent results as bill would say. We need the damn honda, civic of drones, already yeah thats. True, remember that article i do yeah. I know thats absolutely well said. Well, i mean you know it, you see it. I mean all the time even its just hilarious, because, like we just had im, not gon na name the person, but we just had uh a gentleman who represents his public works department for the for the city government that he lives in the city and his particular Issue is is an example of what were seeing all over the country where these programs are buying these 20 30 000 drones and theyre not getting off the ground. You make one error and its catastrophic and meanwhile they could have bought 10 phantoms for the same price. You know have a lot of room for improvement on flying capabilities if they crash one or two of them. Who cares and theyre not training people, and i mean well, i mean they. They are training people because they sent their person to us which were grateful for, but the time that it took to get the training is kind of astronomical frankly, and to expect people to essentially learn to fly. An f 16 for their first plane is a little ridiculous. Its almost if i gave emily a ferrari, call up emily and be like hey. You want to go to csu ill, buy you a ferrari guarantee its done deal now.
I just got to be able to afford the ferrari thats right, but i mean youre not going to give your 16 year old a ferrari to learn to drive right. Why are you going to give him an m300 same thing, and so it just goes back to there. Is this uh idea that the best drones come from the most amount of money and thats not true, and we need an aircraft that compares to dji that operates like dji doesnt have the communist daddy? You cant fly here geo, fencing that we absolutely hate, but we can get past with hacks um. We need that and if that, if there was a company that produced that they would be the next boeing of aviation in the drone community and no offense but its not rocket science, the hard part is figuring out the scaling of manufacturing and there are people who, Literally, come from programs that are taught how to do exactly that, in fact, my nephew hes going to uh university of tennessee in knoxville and he is literally going to a a program thats all about uh supply chain, uh, automation and blockchain automation, interesting so its coming. I mean its already here in many ways agreed and so to kind of recap: it all: what are the things that would be life changing for the drone industry, propulsion change, right, thats, what you mentioned and then uh some sort of neural link for control is what Rob mentioned hey, i love it.
I wish it was like the matrix and i could just download you know years of information and fully retain it all. You know what i mean. That would be really cool. I would love that. I dont not sure that neuralink is going to give me that, but im not sure either uh yeah, obviously um well and its funny. I just read an article on cnbc that the competitor to neuralink just got their patents and whatnot ahead of neurolink. I found that interesting, no way: uh huh thats, very interesting yeah. I got ta dig into that yeah um, but then also recapping. We talked about having a phantom competitor, so we can have a north american made vehicle make them in mexico. Who cares make them in canada? They spend a lot of time indoors like come on, but not during the summer anyway, and then we also talked about a safer, some sort of safety mechanism or a way to keep drones yeah even more safe than frankly. They already are but yeah. You know there are explosive life preservers. You know the ones that you wear for paddle boarding where you just pull something goes and makes a live preserver. Why cant? We do that for a drone, yeah im just saying i dont know i. If i had a lot more time and money man, i would have a heyday with these things. Yeah itd be fun, it really would be fun. Well, we hope that answered this uh this question for you.
I love these questions, but we really want to know what you guys think, because again, theres got to be some great ideas out there. That uh, somebody like ahmed, who is literally getting educated in innovation and how to to bring it to bear um, would love to hear im sure now if i were to really go down the rabbit hole, rob and what i would love to see. That would be absolutely aviation. Changing is quantum propulsion in a drone hybrid flight in a drone thats. What i would like to see like the navy patent, that showcases hybrid flight capabilities, i want to see that in a damn drone, because then were only years away from the jetsons being real life, and i am ready for that. I am ready to cruise the skies and not the streets, because man, there are just too many angry people holding up the left lane and they really dont like it. When i cut them off so im, just saying: go figure, Laughter, hey if youre going 10 miles an hour under the speed limit you deserve it. I dont know about that. But anyways that was fun. It was a lot of fun. It was – and i i i got – i agree with rob – youve got ta. We would love to hear your thoughts on this uh from our community as a whole, so uh so make sure you leave some comments. This uh this might be some comments.
That rob actually reads this time.