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From Heli-Drones to Drone Boats: Inside the Drone Expo

Foreign military officers came to shop at the megaconference, including one country that's perpetually on America's case about drones.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 15, 2013 - 6:33 pm
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dronelockheed

Dronepalooza. Droneyland. Dronestock. I had a slew of aggrandizing nicknames for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference heading into this week, looking forward to my inaugural drone expo. The size and scope of the event did not disappoint. It was essentially one-stop shopping for farmers and warfighters alike, a bevy of unmanned aerial systems and components, robotics technology for unmanned vehicles, IED-defusing and reconnaissance robots, and more.

And when we talk shopping, that was one of the more fascinating aspects of the megaconference that swallowed three giant exhibit halls and numerous conference rooms at the Washington Convention Center. Foreign military officers mingled throughout the crowd and stopped for long conversations at the booths, carrying sponsor tote bags and filling them with swag, informational brochures and business cards. Among the countries whose officers I spotted were Israel, Canada, Italy, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Senegal. I saw officers from Serbia and Kosovo, naturally on different sides of the hall. And then I passed an officer from… Pakistan.

Yes, the country that heartily criticizes the U.S. for drone use was drone shopping in Washington, D.C. One of the mega-contractors at the show told me they had no dealings with Pakistan. One of the companies at the show under contract with the Pentagon to provide Pakistan with ground robotics technology told me they hadn’t seen the officer come by. So what was in his shopping bag is still a mystery.

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All Comments   (5)
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" Northrop Grumman held a UAV Innovation Challenge to find the smartest guys in the classroom and the top honors went to Emirates Robotics from Dubai Men’s Campus of the Emirates’ Higher Colleges of Technology."

And if that doesn't scare you, you aren't thinking.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"This little guy will run in the $50,000 range and can assemble at home."


It can assemble at home? Cool! What can it assemble? Could you use it to make money with one of those" assemble products at home" get-rich-quick schemes?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cool article with interesting pictures, but they seem to be in every orientation but right side up! I thought every camera made nowadays had auto-detection of this ... But in any event, fixing it is the easiest thing in the world with any photo editor ...

David
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
When the price comes down the narcos could use that boat to smuggle drugs. Drones tell no tales to law enforcement.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, they probably would, since the boat would have its programmed route stored ...
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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