The Drone Radio Show is a weekly show about drones and the people who use them for business, fun and research. Our guests share how they’re using drones to make a positive impact, build a business, lessons they’ve learned and insights that you can use to take YOUR interest in drones to the next level.
Using Solar Energy To Power a Drone Network: Desmond Wheatley, CEO BEAM Global
Can clean energy power our drones?
Desmond Wheatley is CEO of BEAM Global, a CleanTech leader that produces innovative, sustainable technology for electric vehicle charging, outdoor media, and energy security. It does this without the construction, disruption, risks and costs of grid-tied solutions. Desmond joined BEAM as a consultant in 2010 when it was Envision Solar, and has served as the Company’s CEO since 2011 and as Chairman of the Board since 2016. He has two decades of senior international management experience in technology systems integration, energy management, communications and renewable energy. Desmond has founded, funded and operated four profitable start-up companies and was previously engaged in M&A activities.
In 2020, Beam announced the development of the UAV Arc, the first solar-powered, drone recharging network, which provides en route charging for unmanned aerial vehicles. The ability to recharge on a network of UAV ARC™ products deployed on rooftops, undeveloped regions or at sea should dramatically increase the potential range and utility of UAVs. Each UAV ARC™ unit generates and stores all its power from renewable sources so drones will receive clean renewable electricity with no cost-per-unit of energy. The units are completely independent from the power grid, allowing them to provide charging during grid outages and in remote locations.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Desmond talks about Beam Global, its patented CleanTech Solutions and how the UAV ARC is poised to support the drone delivery industry.
States and Cities Role in Managing Low Altitude Airspace: Brent Skorup, The Mercatus Center
Should States and Cities get more involved in managing low altitude airspace?
Brent Skorup is senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. The Center advances knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems. In addition to his role as senior research fellow, Brent is also a member of the Texas Department of Transportation’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Task Force. He has authored several articles for National Affairs, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others. He’s appeared on TV and radio for news outlets like C-SPAN, NPR, CBS News, ABC News and CNBC Asia.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Brent talks about the current federal-centric model governing traditional aviation as it relates to unmanned traffic management. To avoid gridlock with states and the risk of civil suits from landowners, Brent believes the federal government should recognize state and local government authority over drone airspace.
Jet Quad - A Jet Powered Drone: Alex Taits, CEO and Founder of FusionFlight
Is a Jet Powered Drone the Future of Medical Supply Delivery?
Alexander Taits is CEO & Founder of Fusion Flight, a manufacturer of the Jet Quad, the world's smallest and most powerful jet-powered drone with vertical take-off and landing capabilities. It is like an unmanned, scaled-down version of the Harrier-Jump Jet. With its high speed capability, the company aims to be the leader of autonomous UAV medical delivery.
Alex begun his career in Mechanical Engineering performing structural analysis for rocket engine and nuclear reactor components. He holds a Master's in Mechanical Engineering from USC and is self-taught in the areas of Control Systems, Software, and Electrical Engineering. Over the years, he has worked in a diverse set of industries including military jet propulsion, semiconductors, robotics and micro-satellites.
In this edition of the drone radio show, Alex talks about Fusion Flight, the company’s Jet Quad and how the jet powered drone will revolutionize the medical delivery industry.
Vantis - A Drone Highway In the Sky - Nicolas Flom, Northern Plains UAS Test Site
Are we close to seeing drone highways in the skies?
Nicholas Flom is Executive Director for the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site. The North Plans UAS Test Site was designated by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct critical research into the certification and operational requirements necessary to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace system. Recently, the Northern Plains Test Site unveiled Vantis, a platform set to become the nation’s first statewide network for drones. Think of it as a highway in the sky for UAS.
Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Nick was the Director of Safety responsible for chairing the Independent Safety Review Board for the Test Site, implementing their Safety Management System and ensuring that safety is the test site's highest priority.
In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Nick talks about the Northern Plains Test Site, the Vantis UAS system and how it will safely open the skies to unmanned vehicles.
Flying Drones Without GPS - Sanjiv Singh, CEO Near Earth Autonomy
What Happens when the GPS goes Out?
Sanjiv Singh is CEO of Near Earth Autonomy, a Pittsburg based company that is creating a future where autonomous flight is commonplace and safe. Near Earth’s technology allows aircraft to autonomously take-off, fly, and land safely, with or without GPS. Their solutions enable aerial mobility and inspection applications for partners in the commercial and defense sectors.
Sanjiv leads the technical and business strategy for the company. He brings 25 years of experience in autonomous ground and air vehicles operating in extreme environments. Key area of his expertise are in perception and planning for air and ground vehicles. In addition, he specializes in the coordination of human and robotic teams. Sanjiv obtained his PhD in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in 1995 and has since been on the faculty at the Robotics Institute. Sanjiv is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Field Robotics.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Sanjiv talks about Near Earth Autonomy, the company’s ground breaking technology and the future of robotic flight.
Machine Learning and BVLOS Operations: Jon Damush, CEO and James Howard, VP of Engineering, Iris Automation
Can Machine Learning Advance Beyond Visual Line of Sight Operations?
Iris Automation is a safety avionics technology company pioneering Detect-and-Avoid systems and aviation policy services that enable customers to build scalable Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations for commercial drones. The cutting edge software solution uses machine learning and computer vision to continually fine tune its capabilities on a low size, weight, and power hardware module that integrates easily onboard Unmanned Aircraft Systems allowing them to fly safely at long distances and without human intervention.
Jon Damush is CEO of Iris Automation. Jon has over 30 years of extensive aviation technology experience and executive leadership, building upon his technical background in engineering, software development and systems integration. Most recently he led new business ventures at Boeing NeXT. Before that he was Chief Growth Officer at Insitu, Inc., a Boeing subsidiary, developing novel aircraft and UAS innovation including detect-and-avoid. He was also a Boeing executive liaison and board observer to SkyGrid, LLC, a joint venture between Boeing and SparkCognition.
James Howard is a mechatronics engineer, roboticist and entrepreneur. James worked at Boeing and Insitu Pacific on computer vision research for drones such as the Scaneagle. At Spire Global, he helped build and launch their first four commercial satellites, seeing first hand the insides of a successful, highly technical aerospace startup. Additionally, in his first year of university he co-founded AniRevo Events as Director of Sales and has helped it grow successfully to a 14,000+ attendee annual event that is expanding globally.
In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Jon and James talk about Iris Automation, the company’s innovative Casia detect and avoid technology, and how machine learning can help make the skies safer for UAS operations.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I look forward to every episode of the Drone Radio Show. Randy chooses some really fascinating people to interview who show up with a wide-ranging set of skills and knowledge. From a researcher at Duke University who defines the difference between an automated drone and an autonomous drone to people who started their own businesses and shared tips and tricks, his guests will make a listener's day more interesting. Highly recommended.
The best drone podcast out there !
I listen to several drone related podcast but this one is my faviorite because its not just two guys chatting about drone news but interviews with interesting guests from all areas of the drone industry. That last one, episode 88, on how drones are used in the legal profession was just fascinating and prompted me to post this review which I had been meaning to do for a long time!.
Very good and consistent podcast
Randy is really prepared for his shows and he always seems to get to the right amount of detail. Good variety of guests within the space, if you are just starting check out the interview with Anil Nanduri. Keep it up Randy!