Russian quadcopter market grew almost by two times in 2017: according to M.Video, only from January to September, 57 thousand unmanned aircrafts were purchased – an 84% increase compared to the previous year. Drones are becoming easier to access and they are being used not only for entertainment, but also for business.
Drones have found application in many industries, starting with the simplest one – delivering goods. Large online retailers in the US are successfully working in this area. There are also precedents of quadcopters’ use in agriculture and even in construction. In addition, photography with quadcopters is perhaps the most popular use of these devices. The use of drones in cartography and topography is widespread: taking pictures from a height allows getting pictures of the desired site in high resolution.
In Russia, there is the AirPano company – a non-profit organization that specializes in high quality panoramic photos and videos. In 2012, the company was the Runet Prize 2012 award winner, and a year later received a grant from the Russian Geographical Society. The project team launches drones into the sky and creates spherical aeropanoramas, photographs and virtual 3D tours of picturesque places around the world.
Another Russian company – Anisoprint – develops 3D printing technologies from superhard materials. One of the company’s novelties is the 3D printer Composer, which can create carbon fiber parts for UAVs. It injects reinforcing fibers into the plastic, which increases its strength and stiffness by 20 times – the material becomes as reliable as aircraft aluminum. The fiber and bond material can be selected by the user in order to create a part with the desired characteristics.
Somewhat more serious devices than quadcopter are made by Aerob (resident of the Skolkovo Foundation). This is a developer and manufacturer of drones based on aircraft-type complexes. They are equipped with avionics systems and can fly autonomously up to 12 hours (depending on the model). Such drones are used in monitoring air and ground territories.
But despite the popularity of these devices and the income that they bring to a number of industries, experts call the UAV market in Russia immature. One of the reasons is administrative barriers. The Aeronet Association is working on overcoming them. This association of legal entities interacts with lawmakers on legal regulation of drones. The Association also forms standards and rules for the operation of civilian UAVs, investigates incidents and insures civil liability to third parties.
Representatives of the companies mentioned above will speak at the InSpace Forum on March 21. President of the Aeronet Association Sergey Zhukov, head of Aerob Andrey Mamontov, head of Anisoprint Fedor Antonov and head of Anisoprint Fedor Antonov will discuss the possibilities of commercial application of drones within a panel discussion.
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