Series 11 – Episode 6 – Making drone flights safer with IoT technology

3rd March 2023
Paige West

Paige West speaks with Jack Drinkwater, Wireless Logic Business Development Manager & Lukáš Brchl, DroneTag CEO about the drone market and new regulations.

Wireless Logic was founded in 2000 by Phil Cole and Oliver Tucker who saw the need for a new business layer between the mobile networks and organisations requiring a dedicated M2M/IoT managed services solution.

Today the company works across all market segments, delivering complete M2M/IoT managed services for mobile and satellite wireless networks plus fixed line solutions.

Starting on a hackathon, today Dronetag is a 20-head company full of motivated experts tearing down old limits and drafting a completely new field for all drone pilots. The company has created the world-smallest add-on Remote ID device and developed the world-first drone fly scanner app.

The drone market is forecasted to grow by $27.78 bn during 2022-2027.

In the beginning, drones were simply either military grade drones dropping bombs or doing surveillance. Fast forward, and now they are being used for multiple applications – helping us do agriculture more efficiently, deliveries, construction and even medicine, all in a sustainable way.

For Brchl one of the most exciting drone applications involves any kind of help and assistance during search and rescue operations. “This is really something where I see drones contribute to better living,” he said. “When we are able to utilise them in those kinds of sophisticated tools that can help us to save lives.”

Drinkwater had something similar to say: “I think one of the other ones for me really is delivery,” he said. “I was lucky enough to experience and go to Rwanda back in 2020 for the Africa Drone Forum and see the zipline set up. So, a zipline, a drone operator and a manufacturer have their own operations in delivering medical supplies.

“Seeing them guys operating and delivering medical supplies, where they don’t have the sort of established road and rail infrastructure, and getting those important supplies to people in need, that was really a sort of pivotal moment for me.”

Two years ago, regulations were introduced that require drones flying in cities – particularly near airports – to broadcast their position and maintain visibility for safety and security reasons.

In response to this, DroneTag and Wireless Logic have worked together to deliver exciting new opportunities across drone identification and tracking. Together, they have developed a compact and lightweight remote ID device.

“So, it’s effectively a single SIM SKU to provide connectivity across multiple territories and continents across the world,” notes Drinkwater.

“I really do see the remote ID as a first building block before we go further,” notes Brchl. “And I would be very happy in the future if we are able to employ multiple drones in the same airspace so they don’t endanger each other and thus, the general public below them.”

Brchl and Drinkwater go on to talk about why the new regulations were brought into place, what challenges this gives drone operators, manufacturers, and connectivity providers as well as how they both see traffic management technology evolving in the future.

To hear more about the drone market and much more, you can listen to Electronic Specifier’s interview with Jack Drinkwater and Lukáš Brchl on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

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