Category Archives: Flight Diaries

Where are all the women speakers at CES?

“Just days after women in Hollywood protested unequal representation, pay, and treatment of females in the entertainment and other industries at this year’s Golden Globes, organizers at CES, the world’s leading electronics and technology trade show, have bafflingly cited a “limited pool” as their reason for naming not a single female keynote speaker at the show.”

That’s according to Architectural Digest in a piece published earlier this month.

The article is a follow-up to an article in USA Today outlining why women need to be onstage at events like the Consumer Electronics Show.

Architectural Digest provided a list of eight women who could be potential keynotes at next year’s event. I’m honored to be included in that list, alongside people who have made amazing contributions to tech including former marketing manager at Apple Music (and currently CBO at Uber) Bozoma Saint John, SVP of retail at Apple, Angela Ahrendts, and Recode founder Kara Swisher.

For what it’s worth, you can find me as the keynote speaker this April at the International Drones Expo and Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this April.

Drone Girl to keynote International Drones Expo in Spain

Hey European drone fans!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be the keynote speaker at this year’s DroneShow: International Drones Expo and Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The conference will run April 11-12 at Fira Barcelona, Pavilion 8.

This will be my first European Drone Girl appearance, following past international events in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Australia. I’ve also spoken at major U.S.-based events including SXSW, Harvard Business School and WeRobotics Global with The Rockefeller Foundation.

Last year’s Barcelona drone show saw nearly 5,000 attendees, 36 exhibitors and 42 speakers, and this one promises to be even bigger.

All attendees of DroneShow will also receive free access to the eShow Barcelona, the largest trade fair in the eCommerce and Digital Marketing sector, which will have more than 120 exhibitors and 13,000 visitors.

Online registration opens on February 12, so mark your calendars to reserve your spot!

This SkyUp Drone Girl shirt is totally adorable

I love hearing from fans, and I REALLY love when I hear from them in the form of art!

The shirt was designed by a fan named Nicole who runs the site SkyUp Drones, which has an adorable collection of drone-related t-shirts. So I was totally flattered when she made one in homage to The Drone Girl!!skyup drone girl shirt

I am kind of obsessed with her Pug Drone design, and of course this one is a classic.

Thanks so much, Nicole! To the rest of you — check out her work!

And if you want a SkyUp shirt for yourself, use discount code  TheDroneGirl20_Off to get 20% off!

Want more Drone Girl inspired art? Check out these free desktop and smartphone backgrounds, designed by talented artist Carli Krueger.  You can also pick up related merch with those same desktop background designs in the Drone Girl shop.

IEEE features The Drone Girl in Women in Engineering magazine

Check out the December issue of IEEE’s WIE (Women in Engineering) Magazine.

The magazine is an entity of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization, and profiles of women in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

This month features an article written by Katianne Williams about Drone Girl creator Sally French, highlighting her story, how she found drones and her experiences as a woman in the industry.

Don’t have the physical magazine? You can find it archived here.

Want more from Drone Girl? Read her forecast for 2018 in drone journalism in Poynter.

Drones are one of tech’s most overhyped sectors, survey finds

Love drones? Your passion may be honest, but for most Americans, drones are pretty overhyped.

First Round Capital surveyed 869 tech entrepreneurs to get their opinions on how overhyped or underhyped each tech sector is. Drones come in at No. 4 as the most overhyped tech sector according to the report, which was then put into graphic form by Visual Capitalist.

drones overhyped

53.7% of entrepreneurs say drones are overhyped, vs. just 12.1% who think they are underhyped. Drones come in behind virtual reality (64.7% overhyped), wearables (63.6%) and chat bots (61.4%) on the overhyped ranking.

Drones certainly have a myriad of useful applications that safe time, money and even lives. They brought cell service to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria,  they are researching oceans, and high school students are exploring how they can be used to fly life rafts out to drowning victims. They are protecting animals from poaching and can perform otherwise expensive infrastructure inspections for a fraction of the cost. But it’s also hard to disagree that drones haven’t fallen prey to at least some hype.

Much of the hype — and lack of follow-through — has come out of the drone delivery industry.

You’ve read the big, media-friendly announcements of dozens of delivery “firsts” including the first-ship-to-shore drone delivery, the first FAA-approved drone delivery to a customer’s home, the first urban drone delivery. All of those were made by a company called Flirtey, which also announced a partnership with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited to create the first-ever drone pizza delivery service. The thing is, it could only deliver to buildings within 1 mile of a single store in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand. More than six months after the announcement, it had made four deliveries since the original launch, according to a Domino’s spokesman. You can hardly call that a drone delivery service.

Whether drones are overhyped is up to you.

Poynter features The Drone Girl in 2018 drone journalism forecast

What can you expect from the world of drone journalism in 2018?Poynter’s Al Tompkins interviewed myself along with drone experts Matt Waite of the University of Nebraska Drone Journalism Lab and Mickey Osterreicher of the National Press Photographers Association to find out.

This was a big year for drones on a commercial scale. Journalists used drones to document the floods and destruction from hurricanes and the devastation that California wildfires left behind.    Poynter itself taught 400 journalists how to fly in a workshop held in Nebraska.

But did the year live up to the hype and expectations? Should we be concerned about what 2018 has in store for drones? What can we expect next year?

Read Poynter’s piece here.


6 ways law enforcement uses drones

As drones become safer, cheaper and more reliable, there’s one field that has found tremendous success in using drones: law enforcement.

Drone and camera technology allows law enforcement officials to have a better viewpoint of chaotic situations where having ground personnel is too risky. Aerial points of view also allow post-accident or crime scenes to be better evaluated to help understand the timeline of events that took place.

First responder situations are the 6th most common use for drones according to a report from Skylogic Research, behind other popular uses like aerial photography, mapping and construction.

But use of drones by law enforcement is also highly controversial. A pair of drones donated to the Los Angeles Police Department was actually locked away for three years, collecting dust after a public outcry over the idea of police using the controversial technology.

But it seems drones are here to stay, and plenty of police departments are adopting them.

The team at, a commercial drone distributor, created a graphic to show all the ways law enforcement teams are using drones: Continue reading 6 ways law enforcement uses drones