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No, China is not leading the way in drone development

China is not the leading country when it comes to developing drone platforms — but they are No. 2.

The No. 1 country in terms of developing the most number of unique drone models is actually the United States. That’s according to a study released by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Danish Technological Institute, based on data collected in November 2018.

Courtesy AUVSI

The United States leads the way in terms of most number of unique drone models (the U.S. has developed 628 unique drone models). China, which is none for its major drone companies including DJI, PowerVision, Yuneec and Autel, ranks second but only accounts for half as many actual drones, having developed a total of 309 unique drone models.

Though that could change.

“Developments of consumer platforms appear to be growing in China compared to other parts of the world, (reflecting) the general expansion of the Chinese consumer market for other products as well,” according to the report.

Courtesy AUVSI

But when it comes to continents with the most drone development, Europe takes the cake. That’s perhaps due to the fact that it has a number of small countries developing drones, including the Baltic country of Latvia, which is home to AirDog, which designs an action-sports drone that “follows-you,” Aerones and AirBoard. Germany and France have also been leaders in the drone industry, home to companies like France’s Delair and Germany’s Skysense, which makes portable drone landing pads.

Courtesy AUVSI

What’s interesting about the U.S. is that drone development isn’t concentrated in Silicon Valley, which you may expect. While there are plenty of dronemakers in California, much of the development is done on the east coast of the United States near Washington, D.C. The report indicated that was because the U.S. drone development is highly focused on drones for military purposes.

One Comment

  • Mike Carrieri says:

    Intel Corp.’s Drone Display tech is actually a new meta-material class with properties: volume enclosure, utilizes light spectra (input also), quick form shifts, controls discrete lift (work). Limits: 2K+ units per set. No limits to quantity of sets employed/deployed. Also no limits to “unit”.

    I do not currently nor have previously worked for Intel Corp.

    I started following EVs and UAVs, noting Intel’s Drone Display tech demos, especially at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. It is essentially an outdoor 3D pixel-display system.

    On drone swarms, Intel Corp.’s Drone Display tech leads on quantity simultaneously controlling 2,000+ units.

    Volume enclosure provides in-place capture and interior concealment.

    Light spectra involves lights for distraction, cameras for omni-fensive operations, or replacement with subhyperspectral whole-range data analysis. Or just lasers. All expendable, controlled by one person, from anywhere.

    Quick form shifts allows deception of shape, low-fly, break up, traversing any obstacles, and disperse. Shape sent and near-instant change by 3D render file(s), by one person at push-button.

    Discrete lift enables Super Super Heavy Lift capacity. If the drone unit control receiver attached to heavy-lift drones in 2,000 unit max formation, could easily carry platform of 300 – 1000+ tons. Also, again disperse if load is discrete.

    On no limit of 2K controlled sets deployed: 2000 unit sets * n. It is unlimited. Infinite.

    Again, also no limit to what constitutes a “unit”. Re-attach the unit control receiver to anything, cars, delivery boxes, umbrellas, etc. Also infinite in “thing” to apply to.


    Mike Carrieri

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