Drones take center stage at NAB Show 2016
Another year at the NAB show in Las Vegas has come and gone and those of us in the UAS/drone community are still recovering from a grueling, yet exciting week. It was an action-packed 6 full days of workshops, demonstrations, training, panels, presentations, new product demos and even drone sports!
Kicking off NAB Show 2016 with Desert Drone Workshops
While exhibitors were busy setting up their booths for the NAB Show 2016 expo, several professional pilots and instructors joined me out in the desert mining town of Nelson, Nevada for two full days of hands-on instruction and demonstration in the 3rd-annual NAB Aerial Videography Field Workshops on Saturday and Sunday.
For the 3rd straight year, Drone Media Group along with Future Media Concepts has been bringing these hands-on field trip workshops to the NAB Show as part of the Post|Production World Conference and returned again to the Nelson Nevada Ghost Town, about an hour outside of Las Vegas. And I’m proud to have been part of managing this event and being a lead instructor each year.
Along with our sponsors for both days, Multicopter Warehouse (Beginner) and Quadrocopter.com (Advanced), had an impressive group of instructors across the communityproviding one-on-one hands-on training for over 30 students per day. There was ample time for myriad of questions and demonstration for the best practices for cinematic aerial shots and what it takes to do this work commercially. As always, a great time is had by students and instructors alike!
Scroll through the slideshow below:
NAB Show 2016 Aerial Robotics & Drone Pavilion
After the success of our first drone pavilion at NAB Show 2015 which was buried in the back of the Upper South Hall, NAB Show management moved the entire drone pavilion and demo flying cage down near the front of Central Hall where the exhibitors could have more continuity with other drone manufacturers like DJI, Yuneec and 3DR, as well as camera manufacturers like GoPro, Canon and Panasonic nearby.
This year’s Platinum Sponsor of the Drone Pavilion demo cage was Multicopter Warehouse, a distributor that sells and supports the entire line of DJI products, GoProfessional Cases (GPC) and a multitude of other camera and racing drone kits, parts and accessories. They also provided demonstrations in conjunction with DJI of the new Matrice 600, the Phantom 4 and the Inspire Pro X5.
They also featured new technology from DJI with the display of the Matrice 600, the Inspire 1 X5R and the Osmo Z-Axis adapter that I tried out on my Osmo Rover crawler project vehicle in and around their booth. I made a quick video of some footage from my tests on the show floor here if you’re interested in seeing the results.
In addition to the sponsors, the Drone Pavilion demo cage, which was a 60x60x60′ flying cube with full multimedia and a 100-seat demo area, featured nonstop demos and presentations for the entire show. Many of the sessions were packed with attendees and standing room only around the cage demos.
Educational presentations ranged from FAA rules and regulations with Lisa Ellman at Hogan/Lovells and Scott Strimple with CinemArial Visuals, to Industrial & Research/Agricultural Drone Imaging with Ryan McMaster and Kerry Garrison; Drone Education Opportunities with Unmanned Vehicle University; Aerial Imaging for Corporate & Light Commercial Video and 3D Aerial Mapping with Jeff Foster (me) at Sound Visions Media and Drones on the Big Screen, featuring Stephen Oh with XM2 showing examples of work they did on set for Pirates of the Caribbean 5.
Drone product demos in the cage ranged from small FPV racing and sport drones, to camera drones like the DJI Phantom 4 with Andrew Baker and Colin Smith, the 3DR Solo with Terrence Williams and the Yuneec Typhoon H – all the way up to larger heavy-lifters like the new DJI Matrice 600, the XFold Dragon, Monster X Drones and the Freefly Systems Alta 8 – which are capable of carrying larger format cinema cameras and gimbals.
But the real crowd-pleasers that got the attention of the Central Hall and drew crowds all around the demo cage were the racing and sports drones. On Day one of the show, the ASL (Aerial Sports League) gave us a great show demonstrating their special made battle drones where the competition is fierce and the winner knock their opponents out of the air. They also gave us a show of the smaller class of sports/racing drones that are used in “freestyle” competitions.
Then on days 2-4, the MultiGP FPV Multirotor Racing organization hosted by David Oneal with That Drone Show brought some world class racing talent to the cage to demo some serious acrobatic freestyle maneuvers and talked about the state of the drone racing industry. With the popularity of drone racing and the interest for it becoming a spectator sport brought on by cable networks like ESPN and the rapidly developing HD FPV technology from companies like CONNEX, this was a big “first” for the NAB show to bring awareness to this new sport!
Each year, UAVs and drones are making a bigger presence at NAB, with more demos, workshops, sessions and events surrounding the show, and we’re confident that NAB Show 2017 will not disappoint either! Stay tuned…