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Commercial Drone Markets: 2016 Year in Review

Last year at this time, I reflected back on the news and trends of the commercial drone markets of 2015 and wrote about the mixed state of affairs in the U.S.  Back then we saw only 2,500 Section 333 grants for commercial activity, and the press’s narrative that ‘drones are cool’ turned [...]

Can AeroVironment Compete in the Commercial Drone Market?

AeroVironment’s new drone and cloud-based analytics platform squarely targets the commercial sector, but are they targeting the wrong vertical, too late in the game? THE FACTS: Earlier this month, the military and tactical unmanned aircraft systems manufacturer AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV) proudly unveiled its new QuantixTM drone and a cloud-based analytics platform called the [...]

DroneDeploy: Enterprise Grade or Not?

DroneDeploy’s new App Market fills a need for commercial drone use, but can the data quality measure up for widespread industrial use? THE FACTS: This past week, DroneDeploy introduced its new App Market, a store for drone applications from a range of companies—including Autodesk, Box, John Deere, and 13 others—as well as [...]

Why I Think the Prosumer Drone Will Never Die

Innovations will flourish on drones that target the prosumer market for a long time THE FACTS: In the 1980 book, The Third Wave, futurologist Alvin Toffler coined the term "prosumer" when he predicted that the role of producers and consumers would begin to blur and merge. Today, the term is well accepted [...]

6 Tips for Avoiding Phony Dronie Consultants and Attorneys

How to steer clear of the wrong hire for your drone business By Jonathan Rupprecht, Esq. for Drone Analyst® It seems everyone is running toward the “drone” rush to make a quick buck. The way I see it is many of the consultants and attorneys assisting businesses with drone work are in [...]

5 Tips for Evaluating Online Drone Data Services

Choosing the right service means choosing a trusted business partner THE FACTS: In early 2014, it was easy to see that drones themselves (the aircraft) would quickly become commoditized and their value would come not from what they could do but from the data they collect. In a piece titled “Drones Revolution [...]

Sense and Avoid for Drones is No Easy Feat

But development is vibrant, and you’ll see it work first in prosumer drones THE FACTS: “Sense and avoid” for drones is a popular topic in the press right now, but the phrase can mean different things in different contexts and for different people. To clarify, there is a difference between solving the [...]

Can PrecisionHawk Tame Drone Traffic in the Sky?

PrecisionHawk’s LATAS delivers an innovative air traffic control system for drones, but it’s one of several that depends on the not-so-imminent success of all aircraft using ADS-B. THE FACTS: This past week (August 29, 2016), the FAA granted PrecisionHawk a waiver from Part 107.31’s visual line of sight (VLOS) limitations, which gives [...]

Will the U.S.’s New Drone Pilot Certification Accelerate Commercial Growth?

FAA testing and certification for small UAS remote pilot certificates begins in earnest this month, but does that mean the commercial drone industry will see rapid growth? THE FACTS: Beginning August 29, 2016, the new small UAS Rule for commercial drone operations in the U.S. takes effect.  One very important change is [...]

DJI’s Foray into the Enterprise Drone Market

Will its reliance on channel partnerships address the real needs of commercial operators? THE FACTS: Without the usual fanfare associated with a new product release, consumer drone manufacturer DJI opened up a website (http://enterprise.dji.com) in July 2016 that is dedicated to commercial / enterprise use of their drones. The website lists five [...]