DENVER (CBS4) – Drones descended on downtown Denver this week, as the industry brought its largest event to the Colorado Convention Center.
XPONENTIAL 2018, convened by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, attracted hundreds of manufacturers, innovators, and industry professionals to the Mile High City.
The trade show features “everything unmanned,” including consumer-grade photography drones, weaponized military aircraft, solar-powered submarines, and four-legged robots seen trotting around the show floor.
Colorado was well represented at the show, with several large exhibitors boasting close ties to the state. Lockheed Martin, which has several offices in the Denver metro area, teased upcoming technology that would allow aircraft as large as a 19 passenger helicopter to fly autonomously.
Aeryon Labs, Inc., which recently opened a new branch in Denver, was awarded the AUVSI XCELLENCE humanitarian award at the show for its use of drones to aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Aeryon sent two of its SkyRanger drones, along with two expert pilots, to the storm-ravaged Saint Martin island. They were able to create detailed 2D and 3D maps of the devastation, giving its partner relief organization, GlobalMedic, vital intelligence to help organize an effective response. Aeryon is donating its $25,000 prize money to GlobalMedic so the organization can continue its life-saving efforts.