Flying high: Drone expo lands in Dublin

Conference is examining how Ireland can capitalise on technology

Flying high: Drone expo lands in Dublin

Image: Facebook/Drones, Data X Conference

Over 5,000 drones have been registered in Ireland in 2016 - while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US says it has seen more than half a million registered.

A conference in Dublin is looking at how Ireland can become the centre for drone excellence in Europe and how businesses - both large and small - can make money using drones, with Ireland as base for operations.

Among the speakers at the Drones Data X Conference in Ballsbridge is Romeo Durscher.

He is director of education at DJI, a maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, after 13 years of working at NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

He has selected four pilot test sites in Europe: Donegal Mountain Search and Rescue, Greater Copenhagen Fire Department, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue, and Search and Rescue Reykjavik, Iceland.

Organisers say many industries, from logistics to construction and engineering, will be affected by the use of drones.

"Government policy makers will have to think differently when new technology will allow drones to safely deliver packages and life-saving equipment quickly and easily across cities.

"Infrastructure will have to be built that allows drones to land on buildings and be charged. There are many new opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to build new businesses around drones."

It comes as the world's first commercial drone delivery service has launched in Rwanda.

The service, operated by US robotics giant Zipline, is delivering blood parcels on parachutes outside remote health centers, according to Quartz Africa

A VIP, invite-only, conference for attendees will also be held this weekend on Achill Island to facilitate peer-based leadership and networking.