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GOTO Amsterdam: The drones track

May 15th, 2015 by

Shaping a new market

This year is the first time at any GOTO conference there is a track all about Drones. Why should we do that? Why is it important and more specific; why could it be relevant for the leaders in the dutch software development market?

Deloitte states that in 2015 the base of active drones exceeds 1 million. Their focus is more on the consumer/pro-sumer side of the story though.

Lets look into some predictions on market size:

Market research estimates the global UAV market is now about $15 billion this year, with growth to up to $20 billion annually by 2020. Part of the reason for the growth is the FAA is opening up air space to commercial activities.

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A report released today by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) forecasts that if the Federal Aviation Administration meets its 2015 deadline for integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national civilian airspace, the total domestic economic impact will reach more than $82.1 billion between 2015 and 2025 — creating more than 100,000 high-paying jobs in the process.

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This graph also is clear on new chances and possibilities:


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What areas will be suitable for drones?

The drones market is still young. The easiest first step is to replace an existing solution with a drone-based solution. Most suggestions you see right now are still in this field:

While legitimate privacy concerns surround the proliferation of small UAS in the civilian airspace, sales of small surveillance drones to state and local authorities are only expected to make up a small portion of that spending. Agricultural applications dwarf all other categories, the AUVSI report claims, accounting for $75.6 billion of total national economic impacts by 2025, whereas government authorities like police, firefighters, and other first responders will generate just $3.2 billion. All other applications — which range from weather and environmental monitoring, to oil and gas exploration, to aerial imaging and mapping — will also result in a $3.2 billion impact over the same period.

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The other area of drone solutions will be the introduction of new services which become available by applying drones technology. Thomas Frey listed 192 (!!!!) possible future uses with drones.

Why should drones be of interest to developers?

So far the first part of this article was more focused on economics of the drones market. If you look at the technologies applied in drones you soon recognize drones are the next step in applying robotics in our daily life. Could it be that flying is more easy than walking for a machine? An high-level look at drones could result in the following elements:


the body, the on-board sensors and other recording devices (mike, camera’s) and computer. Thanks to the rise of mobile devices developments in sensors and camera’s have taken a flight. Drones are now loaded with sensors and cameras. Currently (custom) drone builders needs to decide between flight time and onboard-capabilities.

The onboard software

the software running in the drone to control the drone to fly and do initial processing of raw data. the sensor data could be used to trigger the drone to change its flight path for instance.

Drone in the sky & data in the cloud

The drones can generate too much data to process. By sending this data to “the ground” more resources are available to allow (semi) real-time processing. You could say that drones software is a type of big data processing.

You might say: drones are only for US-based companies. When speaking to Lucas (Holland) and Victor (Spain) we learned that their core business is indeed in the states although they are located in Europe: opportunities for European developers!

Flying to Lucas!

Lucas_van_Oostrum[1]Though the drones market is still young there is one person who already stands-out. When it is about drones on the news or in the papers and an expert opinion is needed, Lucas van Oostrum is called. When I first met with Lucas to propose the trackhost position, I learned so much from Lucas (CTO Aerialtronics) and his head of R&D Jan Wouter Kruyt. These insights and eye openers validated for us that we need to share this story with those who have the skills and the brains to take this new market to the next level. Lucas said “YES!” immediately when we asked him for the trackhost position. We share that excitement to have Lucas on board!

Together with Lucas we’ve created the most awesome and unique drones track you can currently find!

Why a drone track at Goto? Drones are just hardware right? Wrong…

We all remember our Nokia 3210 with monochrome screen that could only be used for calling, texting and Snaking. Who would have thought back then that market would be about apps? Compare the drone revolution with that of mobile phones, only it’s happening 10 times faster. Drones are the flying servers that will run the apps of tomorrow. Raffaello D’Andrea, Professor at ETH Zurich who sold his robotics company to Amazon, will show us how drones start working together. Buddy Michini, CTO of Airware, a company backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures, will talk about drone apps and cloud services. The guys from Elre Robotics will introduce you to the open source App Store for drones.
Editorial note: Lucas forgot to mention himself as a speaker in the drones track; highly recommended as well!

Be part of it too!

This years GOTO Amsterdam will be an amazing opportunity to explore exciting technologies, to meet fantastic people and to share stories, deepdives and experiences with like-minded people. Be part of it too!


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