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On the up and up at SkyTech

By [email protected] - 24th February 2016 - 16:16

Staged at London’s Business Design Centre over two days at the end of January, the second SkyTech exhibition and conference was undoubtedly a smaller affair than the consumer-oriented Drone Show held a month earlier at Birmingham’s NEC, but it retains its attraction as a forum for professional users.

Organised by Charles Maxwell Ltd in partnership with SUAS (an industry group representing the UAV sector), Rheinmetall’s Unmanned Systems Training Academy, and Flightpath Consulting, the event featured three conferences on the UAV Industry, drone applications, and UAV surveying respectively. Full details of presentations can be found at and

The conferences were supplemented by beginner workshops and an exhibition supported by some 30 companies, including Leica Geosystems and Topcon, as well as by representative and regulatory bodies.

New developments unveiled at the event included Gimball from Flyability S.A., a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Claimed as the world’s first collision-tolerant drone, its flight control algorithms developed during five years of research mean it remains stable after contacts and its patented rotating protective frame makes it safe to fly close to people.

With more and more UAVs taking to the air, a development from Antwerp-based UNIFLY could well prove a winner. Its SkyBridge Aviation Traffic Management system has been developed as an intuitive Cloud-based software platform that integrates seamlessly with existing Air Traffic Control systems to enable safe drone traffic.

On the home front, QuestUAV from Northumberland showcased its latest platform. Intended for industrial-grade aerial survey and data analysis, DATAhawk is a fully autonomous drone offering easy and accurate acquistion of geodata for survey mapping and GIS professionals. It automatically converts high-res data into geo-referenced 2D orthomosiacs, 3D models and point clouds and is claimed to deliver fast and reliable results.

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