Latest drones on display in international expo

World Today

What was once a hush-hush technology developed by military engineers, has now become a booming consumer industry. The International Drone Expo is currently underway in Los Angeles. CCTV’s May Lee reports.

The familiar sound of buzzing fills the air as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones of all shapes and sizes invade the air space at the expo.

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For the simple hobbyist who just wants to play around, there are tiny drones by Horizon, and for the serious cinematographer there are giant drones can capture the highest quality images good enough for the silver screen. Gryphon drones on display at the expo were used to shoot the movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

This expo has doubled in size in just one year. There are now many applications for drones, including agriculture, security, and research.

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“The potential for robotics, drones, aerial drones, drones on the ground, really is going to become something that’s an appliance… If you think about it, your car is a large appliance,” Keith Kaplan, co-founder and chief executive of the Tesla Foundation, said.

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“You have learn how to drive it, you have to operate it safely, you gotta have insurance, you have to understand all these things. Well you have to do that with an aircraft too, but the potential for each individual to have a personal drone is really something that’s happening.”

Manufacturers still have to tackle the real issue of privacy, security, and safety concerns. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration has strict safety guidelines, but they’ve been breached by drones. Companies such as Yuneec are combating the problem with software that prevents FAA violations.

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“So the 400-foot rule, 5-mile radius as far as booting up near airports, your products won’t boot up in those spaces,” Jeff Fassbinder of Yuneec said. “It’s already built into our product to make sure the end user is safe and also the full scale pilots are safe.”

The drone industry is forecasted to reach about $10 billion by 2025.