By @SimonCocking. Interesting insights from Oisin McGrath, Chief Flying Instructor. He is responsible for the structure, content and delivery of all of the flight instruction carried out by iFlyTechnology (recently featured in Business Showcase

What aspects of drones / uavs are you excited about?

I love the technology. The industry has expanded exponentially in the last 18 months and what was once high end, military grade technology is now available on the shelves. What excites me most is the curiosity as to what lies around the next corner, what will be available on the shelves next month or even next year! Its an ever changing industry and there are no limits to what will eventually be commercially available.

What opportunities exist in the Dublin / Irish context?

There are a multitude of opportunities for people here at home to enter into this huge market. We have seen a huge increase in the use of drones for aerial photography and videography. Drones provide us with an aerial platform, which can carry any kind of sensor. Thermal cameras, Infra-Red cameras, particle sensors (smoke, chemical), 3D modelling and the application for their use are so vast. Every industry should be considering the use of drones and coupled with the right education and training anything is possible.

What can we expect to see coming in the next 6 – 18 months?

There are so many avenues open at this stage in the development of the drone industry. We have just seen the release of a commercially available Thermal Camera for use on the DJI inspire drone. We have seen the development of prototypes that can carry people aboard. As the demand for this technology increases, I can see two things happen. Firstly, the prices of these high tech machines will begin to decrease. Secondly, the biggest limit to the use of drones is battery life (flight time).

The next big development would certainly be a lighter and longer endurance cell, which will give drones a much longer flight time. However, I hope that as the industry expands, those involved take the time to operate these machines safely. One small drone could have a catastrophic effect on a manned aircraft and this must be avoided at all costs!!

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