Elon University / Today in Elon / Elon Drone Day returns November 18


The second annual event, hosted by the School of Communications, plans to introduce a wider audience to the technological and professional potential of the growing drone industry. Although the event is free and open to the public, registration is required.

Sequels almost never top the original, but the upcoming Elon Drone Day 2022 might be the exception.

Thanks to a grant from the Elon Innovation Council, the second annual Elon Drone Day returns to campus on Friday, November 18, with the ambition to introduce a wider audience to the growing drone industry and the potential it offers technologically and professionally.

In 2021, the inaugural event drew more than 120 attendees to Elon to highlight the latest drone technology, learn about training and regulatory requirements of drone operation, and experience a demonstration of drones showcasing the opportunities in unmanned aerial vehicle related industries.

This fall’s event, which is free and open to the public, once again invites recreational and commercial pilots, educators, students and other community members interested in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to discuss of the ever-increasing popularity of commercial and recreational use of drones. Although there is no cost to attend Elon Drone Day, registration is required. Click here to complete your registration.

The 2022 program includes representatives from the fields of film and media, engineering, computer science, and international and global studies. With an expanded focus that will appeal to a wider range of people, Elon Drone Day 2022 will continue to establish the university as a leading advocate for drone education and training.

Organizer Randy Piland, lecturer in communication design, called last year “an absolute success based on the number of attendees and the positive feedback after the event.” He recalled that he immediately began responding to inquiries about the return of the event, and he admitted that the positive response led him to consider ways to expand its programming, topics and reach. .

The day-long program begins at 8:30 a.m. with a taping and meet and greet at Dwight C. Schar Hall, followed by four educational sessions at the Turner Theater.

“We learned over the past year that many members of the drone community are interested in learning more about the drone industry, what’s new, the challenges and the upcoming opportunities,” Piland said. “As a result, even STEM educators are bringing their drone courses to the event. We hope to attract more Elon students from these programs by adding cross-disciplinary subjects to the curriculum this year.

The day-long program kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a check-in and meet and greet at Dwight C. Schar Hall, followed by four educational sessions at the Turner Theater on topics including “Application of AI to Delivery and drone inspection with quality data”. and “How drones fit into film and current affairs”. Additionally, sessions will discuss the future of the industry, as well as the role of engineering and robotics in defence. To view the full schedule of events, visit the Elon Drone Day website.

Featured presenters include Austin Brown, an FAA-certified drone pilot and co-founder of Global Air Media, LLC; Jack Emerick, account manager at CloudFactory; Mike Gearin, creative director at PhotoFlight Aerial Media; and Tim Williams, mechanical and systems engineer at Tomahawk Robotics.

More than 20 companies and agencies will be present at the Supplier Expo. Flight demonstrations will also take place at the end of the program at 3:30 p.m.

“I’m excited about the top four topics this year and the list of vendors, which has almost doubled from last year,” Piland said. “I think their scope of involvement in the industry, the application of the technology used and the growth of employment opportunities are all essential.”

Piland added, “We have several demonstration engagements related to drone delivery services, NCDOT, with their expansion of operations, and I have just received confirmation that we will have a drone racing league as a supplier and they will do a demo as well.”

According to Piland, Elon Drone Day is the result of several collaborations, including a close partnership with the North Carolina chapter of the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle System International (AUVSI), which co-hosts the event. Additionally, the School of Communications partnered with the Department of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science – as well as many community partners – to bring the event to fruition.

“As part of the Elon Innovation Council grant application, I worked to provide an interdisciplinary approach to ensure broad campus appeal for this type of activity,” Piland said. “As a result, I reached out to industry specialists covering the topics of communications, engineering, IT and global entrepreneurs.”

Questions can be directed to Piland at [email protected] or (336) 278-5232.


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