Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop last week addressed a discussion about the future of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in Australia, claiming that “the age of the drone has well and truly arrived.”
As part of the Vivid Sydney festival, the ‘Drones for Good’ panel discussion featured businesses and government agencies at the forefront of the technology. Bishop kicked off the discussion noting the federal government’s commitment to innovation, in particular RPAS’ potential in providing rapid and accurate mapping for a growing range of applications.
“Trying to predict the future is fraught with difficulty, trying to predict the future of technology is equally true,” Bishop said.
“In 2010 the US Federal Aviation Authority predicted that drones were a passing fad and that by 2020 there would be at most 15,000 drones in the United States and they would only be used by enthusiasts.
“Fast forward just six years and there are tens of thousands of drones being produced in the United States and millions being produced worldwide for all sorts of commercial applications.”
“Innovation must be at the heart of the economy,” Bishop concluded. “We must embrace the disruption that innovation brings.”
“The age of the drone has well and truly arrived.” – Julie Bishop, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs
David Hoffman of Intel, who hosted the discussion, said the computing solutions provider selected Australia as the location of the discussion due to its notable “source of drone innovation.”
Panellists indicated similar sentiments including Marcus Ehrlich, whose Australian RPAS startup Ninox Robotics performs all types of applications including mapping. Elrich explained that RPAS innovation “just makes sense in Australia” due to its geography and the homegrown expertise in technology.
The event coincided with the first public demonstration of Drone 100, Intel’s world-record-holding drone performance, which made its international public debut as part of Vivid Sydney. Drone 100 showcased the power of RPAS and the positioning technologies underpinning it by performing a spectacular choreographed routine over Sydney Harbour, accompanied by the initimate sounds of the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
When its inaugural flight took place in November 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, Drone 100 set a Guinness World Record for the most number of RPAS flying simultaneously.