This year marked our first in-person attendance to Airworks, DJI's flagship event for all those who utilize the brand in their day-to-day operations. Even though we took part in the 2020 virtual version and were able to make several valuable connections there, the return of trade shows as we used to know them brought along this amazing opportunity that we simply couldn't ignore. In today's article we'll share some of the highlights of the event and what's next for the industry!
One of the most anticipated moments of the event was the introduction of the DJI Dock to the public. Its key purpose is to allow companies to fully automate drone operations in remote areas, reducing the overall time and effort it normally takes to conduct these operations when there's people involved. While the Dock is still in the final stages of the R&D process and has not yet begun to be mass produced for the consumer market, it was definitely amazing to see it in action, along with all the potential uses it could have for companies looking to start implementing automation in their day-to-day operations.
Another big highlight from DJI was the new Agras T40, also on display at the event. A successor to the T30, this new drone has mapping, spraying and spreading functions integrated, allowing users to create maps of their farmland to generate quicker routes in future expeditions.
Demos & Sessions
Trade shows are a great opportunity to showcase new products and services, and Airworks was not the exception. Several companies in the space hosted demos at the event but a handful of them were able to really stand out and draw a crowd. Among our favorites were:
- Flytnow by Flytbase: their drone autonomy platform enables companies to automate drone operations, and they support equipment from multiple manufacturers. In this particular case, and given the nature of the event, their demo focused on how these operations can be carried out with the new Dock from DJI, but similar efforts can be replicated with other brands and their respective docking stations.
- DroneSense: their product, a platform for drone management and collaboration for public safety purposes, is widely used in law enforcement agencies and fire departments across the United States. DroneSense's demo was in fact remote - the drone they used for this purpose was at a location Texas but operated from the event in Las Vegas!
- ShareUAV: a 305 million px camera sounds like a serious thing, and that's what ShareUAV brings to the table. Whether it's for land surveying or 3D mapping, this camera seems to be the ultimate tool for a drone!
- Soarability: initially not a demo we were planning to attend, we were ultimately so happy that we did! Their gas detection and mapping system can be integrated with drones, larger UAVs, vehicles like cars and buses, and even to clothes as a wearable. It does not only detect gas leaks but also analyzes emissions from ships and even helps monitor pollution.}
As for the speakers and sessions across the 3 days of the event, our personal highlights were:
- Agroscout, showing us how AI solutions like the one they offer will shape agriculture in the next decades by increasing crop yields and reducing pests like the potato beetle.
- Flying Labs, and their global network of experts helping underserved communities leverage the power of drones for critical operations, such as delivering vaccines to remote areas.
Overall, Airworks 2022 was an amazing experience, and one that we're eager to repeat in 2023. See you there next year!