Drone Shows! The Drone Technology on Display this Week at the Energy Drone and Robotics Summit

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Drone technology on display at Energy Drone & Robotics Summit

By Jim Magill

The latest drone-related technology for photogrammetry and mapping, asset inspection and artificial intelligence (AI) was on display at the Energy Drone & Robotics Summit, a three-day meeting held in The Woodlands, Texas.

The Summit, a hybrid in-person and online event, sponsored by the Energy Drone & Robotics Coalition, is being held through Wednesday, October 27, in conjunction with the Emergency Planning & Disaster Response UAV Forum, sponsored by Energy Drone & Robotics Coalition and DRONERESPONDERS. Two other events, held in conjunction with the Industrial XR Forum, Industrial Digital Twin Summit and the Energy EdgeTECH Summit, also occurred at the venue.


Among the companies presenting their latest technology were Skygauge, a Canadian drone manufacturer whose industrial inspection drones employ patented thrust-vectoring technology to achieve the high level of stability needed to conduct ultrasonic inspections at height. The Skygauge drone is fitted with an Olympus 38DL Plus ultrasonic gauge to measure the thickness of metallic components on large pieces of infrastructure.


Seattle-based Wibotic demonstrated its wireless battery charging technology for drones. The company’s systems work with any battery on any drone or other robotic device to reduce charging times and maximize productivity. Embedded identification software in the system allows any drone to charge from any station, even if the drones have different battery chemistries, voltages, and charging rates.


Commaris, a Woburn, Massachusetts-based company, displayed its new electric, fixed-wing/VTOL hybrid aircraft, the Seeker. The Seeker, designed for commercial mapping projects, such as tracing the routes of pipelines or electric transmission lines, is capable of staying aloft for three hours and flying at speeds of 60 mph.

A drone manufacturer specializing in custom drones for aerial photography, agricultural and heavy lift drones and applications, Harris Aerial displayed its heavy-lift drone technology used in mapping and industrial applications.

drone technology at Energy Drone

Digital Aerolus

Digital Aerolus, showed off its advanced industrial drones. The Lenexa, Kansas-based company’s technology uses principles similar to those used in deep-space navigation to explore indoor, inaccessible and confined spaces.

Skyline Drones, which produces drones for inspecting industrial sites, utilities and oil and gas facilities, set up a netted drone test flight area, where attendees could take their turns as drone pilots.

Other companies and non-commercial agencies with display booths that creatively promoted their products and services included Vantis, the North Dakota UAS network; Forsyth, Georgia-based Gresco Technology Solutions, which helps companies start and maintain industrial and commercial drone operations; Lone Star Drones, an Arlington, Texas-based company that specializes in aerial photography, cinematography and surveying; and MissionGo, which has developed technology used in utility inspections, delivery of critical medical supplies and which provides training for operators.

Read more about the Energy Drones and Robotics Summit, Commaris, Vantis, Harris Aerial, and MissionGo.

Jim Magill is a Houston-based writer with almost a quarter-century of experience covering technical and economic developments in the oil and gas industry. After retiring in December 2019 as a senior editor with S&P Global Platts, Jim began writing about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robots and drones, and the ways in which they’re contributing to our society. In addition to DroneLife, Jim is a contributor to Forbes.com and his work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and Unmanned Systems, a publication of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.