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The War is Not Over: Why Agriculture Drones Deserve a Closer Look

As many of you know I’ve been researching and writing about agriculture drone solutions since early 2012. I recently came across this OpEd in PrecisionAg titled “Opinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost” and read it with great interest. Two and half years ago, our research indicated the same [...]

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 [...]

Market Impact of the FAA Small Drone Rule

Barriers to entry are lower, but high margin operations are still restricted. THE FACTS: By now you probably know that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally released Part 107, the Small UAS Rule (June 21, 2016), which covers operational use of commercial drones in U.S. airspace. This comes after several years of missed [...]

Five Skills You Need to Succeed in the Commercial Drone Market

These days it seems just about anyone can get an FAA Section 333 Exemption that allows them to legally use small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for commercial purposes in the U.S.  As of October 20, 2015, almost 71% of all Section 333 grants have gone to firms claiming that their primary operation/mission [...]

New Commercial Drones Report: Current State of the U.S. Industry

[UPDATE: September, 2016. This report has been updated to include the latest market trend and FAA Part 107 rules] I just released a new research report.  It details the state of the commercial drone industry in the U.S. as of the end of September 2015.  It looks at recent innovations, business applications, key ecosystem companies, and [...]

FAA Proposed Drone Rules: Market Opportunity Winners and Losers

On February 15, 2015, the commercial drone industry breathed a collective sigh of relief. The Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed new rules for small unmanned aircraft systems seemed, at first blush, somewhat practical.  The FAA regulations will eventually allow commercial operations of drones that weigh under 55 pounds in U.S. airspace, without requiring [...]

Commercial Drone Markets: 2014 Year in Review

Judging by the headlines, 2014 turned out to be the year for drones. I referenced in Tweets a total of 503 articles with the word ‘drones’ in the headline last year.  A Google search brings up about 61.4 million results referring to ‘drones.’  Granted, that search includes references to military and hobby [...]

Five Reasons the AUVSI Got Its Drone Market Forecast Wrong

My guest blogger is Mitch Solomon of Aironovo and this is an excerpt from his post which we developed together. You can find his post here. ---- Since its publication in early 2013, AUVSI’s The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United States has become the gold standard forecast for [...]

Film or Farm: Which is the Bigger Drone Market? – Part 2

This is Part 2 in a two-part series that summarizes my views on why video/film/cinema – not agriculture and farming -- will be the largest driver of sUAS commercial businesses. In Part 1, I explore thoughts on the market for video/film/cinema, and below I outline why I believe agriculture will lag in [...]

Film or Farm: Which is the Bigger Drone Market? – Part 1

This is Part 1 in a two-part series that summarizes my views on why video/film/cinema – not agriculture and farming -- will be the largest driver of sUAS commercial businesses. In this part I explore thoughts on the market for video/film/cinema, and below I outline why I believe film and video will [...]