AUVSI Launches UAS Webinars

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has announced a weeklong series of UAS webinars.

XPONENTIAL Virtual Sessions kicks off May 4 with five webinars across next week on topics ranging from robotics to drone delivery.

In response to coronavirus concerns, the AUVSI postponed its major drone show, XPONENTIAL 2020 but is offering supplementary offerings like the webinars to fill in the gaps

“We are working on shifting the dates of XPONENTIAL 2020 to a more suitable time frame and have tentatively identified the dates of August 10-12 for the 2020 event,” Wynne said in a letter to attendees and exhibitors.

Digital Twins

Monday, May 4, 3-4 pm

Peter Haas, Associate Director of the Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative at Brown University will present the first in the series of UAS webinars  Digital Twins – the Future of Virtual and Mixed Reality Robotic Avatars. “Advances in Mixed and Virtual Reality control will lead to a UX revolution for avatar-based robotic teleoperation where the manipulation of digital twins will translate to manipulation of a robot – or robots – in the physical world,” an AUVSI statement notes. “From the $10 million Avatar X-prize to the $10 billion the Japanese government is sinking into developing this tech, robotic avatars are about to become big business. Is your company ready?”

Drone Delivery Supporting Public Health

Tuesday, May 5, 3-4 pm

The two Eric’s of Zipline – Eric Gardiner and Eric Lasker – will  present Drone Delivery Supporting Public Health. Since 2014, Zipline has been conducting drone delivery for international humanitarian operations, along with several defense department projects. The company recently announced new drone-delivery missions to provide COVID-19 tests in Ghana. The world’s largest drone delivery network, Zipline has logged more than 1 million autonomous commercial delivery miles flown. The Eric’s will help attendees learn how that experience has evolved through the FAA Integration Pilot Program, and how those lessons are being adapted to help community healthcare partners respond to COVID-19 in the United States.

NASA’s UAS Vision

Wednesday, May 6, 3-4 pm

AUVSI president Brian Wynne will host a discussion with Robert Pearce, Associate Administrator of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, on the topic “NASA’s Vision and Role to Enable Urban Air Mobility.” Through partnership with universities and industry, NASA has been on the front lines of enabling UAS operations – both small drones operating at low altitude with the original invention of the UAS Traffic Management System and for large UAS operating in higher altitude airspace with definitive flight experiments to validate key standards, such as Detect and Avoid.

DARPA Challenge

Thursday, May 7, 3-4 pm

Timothy Chung, Program Manager of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, will present Advancing Autonomy Through DARPA Challenge to Benefit First Responders. DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge engages international teams to deploy autonomous systems – rolling, walking, flying, and floating – to remotely map, identify, and report on artifacts discovered along underground courses. With the Tunnel and Urban Circuits completed, the Cave Circuit is coming later this year with the final event in 2021. Chung will cover the persisting challenges with robotics, how teams are succeeding in competition while advancing unmanned capabilities, and how these lessons can benefit first responders.

Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity

Friday, May 8, 2-3 pm

Mark Davis, technical lead of ACJA, will present the final in the series of UAS webinars, Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity – Bridging the Gap Between Cellular and Aviation. “Aerial cellular has garnered significant interest from both the aviation and cellular communities. However, poor coordination has led to confusion around capabilities, expectations, priorities, and standards. Aviation has difficulty understanding the capabilities of cellular, and cellular has difficulty understanding the requirements of aviation. While the potential is clear, the path forward is not. Recent initiatives (such as ACJA, a joint activity between GSMA and GUTMA) are aimed at breaking this deadlock and providing a standards framework to build and enable unmanned aerial cellular.”

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