It was my first time attending the AUVSI Xponential Conference, offering top tech trends and held in Denver this year. These conventions can be costly, but in this case, it was worth the ticket. Xponential 2023 was held at the Colorado Convention Center. It is the largest, most comprehensive trade show and conference event for commercial and defense unmanned aerial systems - UAS.
There were over 100 companies displaying their latest technology and unmanned systems. The day I attended the main hall exhibit there had to be 500 people milling through the isles. I saw several great companies that I have trained with or have bought from, or just admire, such as Pilot Institute, DJI, Multicopter Warehouse, Drone Light Shows, Pix4D, Dronedeploy, NVidia and of course the FAA.
The most impressive systems were the underwater ROVs Remote Operated Vehicles. One that looks like a small submarine with two motors on a 200 meter tether which rotated around its camera having the ability to move in all axes. The other prompted eight motors on a tilt, which allowed for video in all directions without moving. Both systems can withstand 200 meters of depth. These underwater cameras and images are always getting better. One of these ROVs sported a 4K camera taking amazing images. But this technology is made for the user to attach any camera needed for the project.
I watched drone soccer. . . . it’s 5 vs 5 drones inside of a ball-like skeleton. There was only one drone on each team, the one with the flag attached to it, is allowed to score a goal, while the others have to knock out and block the carrier from scoring. This sport is school lead and relies on school funding. There is no huge prize pool just bragging rights.
I learned the world of drones is going to continue to improve in leaps not baby steps. It was awesome, I wasn’t expecting to experience everything from small underwater battle bots to a full blown Military anti-UAS defensive device.
I’m definitely adding this to my calendar to attend the 2024 Conference!