Over the last few years drone technology has gone from “that will never exist” to “you can buy that at Walmart.” With new models, innovations, and applications being revealed every day, it can be hard to keep up. But events like the Vancouver Drone Fair are giving people a sneak peek at the future.
Founded by Vancouverites Declan Sweeney and Steve Watts, the Drone Fair is the first of its kind in Canada. Bringing together enthusiasts, exhibitors, vendors, and technicians, the fair was founded as a way to bring people together, while changing perceptions of the technology.
“All these positive implications seemed to be outweighed by the negative perceptions people had of drone – namely military uses, and issues surrounding privacy,” Watts told Vancity Buzz. “Some valid fears, but very small compared to the vast benefits. We had an idea about an event that focused on these wonderful uses of drones, from agricultural to delivery systems, to search and rescue. The list is endless.”
To Watts, the applications of drones in things like delivery systems, environmental protection, law enforcement and emergency services, agriculture, and others can’t be denied. He hopes events like the Drone Fair, and the growing advocate culture will help steer public opinion in the right direction.
“In the end we’re hoping to educate people in the positive applications of drone technology,” says Watts. “The only way this industry can grow to its maximum potential is if companies/individuals using drones fly safely and within the proper guidelines set by Transport Canada.”
There will also be keynote addresses from industry experts, including a representative from Transport Canada, drone races, fly zones for people to test out the newest drones, and a University Challenge between BCIT, UBC, and UVic.
When: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Where: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) – 3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby