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When to use drones.

Lady Gaga being lifted by Drone


Drones in general

  • The term “drones” is not popular in this community as they tend to have a bad reputation (such as "bomb dropping robots”)

    • However, it’s getting more and more difficult to lose this as a catch all term

    • The term has different meanings in different countries:

      • US It is associated with war

      • In Japan drones are an agricultural tool

    • This are incredible useful machines so it’s important that we build a new culture of trust around them

  • This umbrella term covers a lot of devices:

    • Devices in the Air, on the ground and under the Sea such as

      • UAV – unmanned aerial vehicle

      • UUV – unmanned underwater vehicle

      • ROV – remotely operated vehicle

      • RPV – remotely piloted vehicle

  • Not all drones are remotely piloted

    • UAVs and UUVs are becoming more and more autonomous.

      • Such as a UUV that inspects undersea cables and/or pipes – and just automatically follows the cables and lines


Drones and jobs

  • The panel’s position was that these Robots (drones) are not taking away jobs, they are shifting to new activities.  

    • They still need to be run by the intellect of humans

  • They are very useful for situations that are “DUMB, DIRTY OR DANGEROUS”

    • Search and rescue

    • Contaminated areas (Fukushima Reactor Disaster)

    • Safety on railroads

    • Deep ocean

    • Agriculture


Are Drones (autonomous cars) safe?

  • Per the WSJ - The Google car had a slightly higher rate of accidents then average drivers – however – further investigation showed that all of the accidents where caused by other drivers – not the autonomous Google car.

    • The big challenge is that the Google car follows the rules of the road too well!


The immediate future

  • Insurance agencies and lawyers are guiding the advancement of the industry 

  • The next big breakthrough is when there is a common command and control system so that multiple platforms (land, sea, & air) can work together to perform work

  • Hub of the nation of unmanned systems.  “Silicon Valley isn’t doing it”  “We lifted Lady Gaga” We are doing real stuff here in San Diego”  said one of the panelist "Treggon Owens"



Rear Admiral Jerry Burroughs, USN (ret) Chairman, The Maritime Alliance; VP Sonalysts

Treggon Owens, CEO  Aerial MOB  Aerial MOB is the leader in aerial cinematography utilizing the latest technology in remote control aircraft.

Rob Cornick, Sr. Program Mgr, SeeByte advanced software to enhance the capabilities of their underwater sensors, vehicles and systems for the Military & Oil & Gas sectors 

Michael Hennig, CEO, Unmanned Aerial Systems which uses drones in archaeology, search and rescue, plus humanitarian efforts. 


Chuck Pelly of Intersection-Inc. was on the Programming Committee


Event: MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego, Panel discussion on drones

Date: June 17th

At: Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, Duane Roth Auditorium UCSD

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