For good or for worse, we have entered the age of the personal drone. There are now thousands of drone and quadcopter enthusiasts buying kit, making mods, and heading out to fly these fascinating robotic creatures in UK skies. It is something which a lot of people continue to feel very anxious about, but this apprehension comes from a lack of knowledge. Seeing some of the best quadcopters and drones flying in the sky is a thing of beauty, just read some of the reviews to understand them.
If you get your information about drones from the Sunday papers, you could be forgiven for disagreeing with their use, because the media is still catching up with the technology. There are some very stringent regulations governing the way in quadcopters and other personal drones can be flown these days, but this is rarely discussed – as if the fact that there is a thriving and vibrant drone and quadcopter scene in the UK right now.
It is an open and welcoming community, made up of people who love aerial photography, people who are interested in the future use of personal drones, people who adore flying miniature models and helicopters, and people who just think the technology is really cool. You would be surprised at how lively the UK drone and quadcopter scene has become over the last few years and how many amazing events are held across the country.
This handy guide to some of the best upcoming drone and quadcopter events in the UK should give you some idea of where to start, if you are new to the scene – and where your next big date falls, if you are already a bit of an expert.
Bring Your Own Drone Networking Event – 18th September 2015
This friendly and informal networking event is designed to build on the work of the Project Daedalus Toolkit (an online platform which merges drone technology and art). It will gather together scholars, artists, tech specialists, and enthusiasts, in order to bring together hobbyists with the people who design and develop this tiny machines. There will be a number of guest speakers, an opportunity for networking, and a chance to take your drone to the skies in the wonderful Grizedale Forest.
Location: Grizedale, Cumbria
Drone Hack 2.0 – 19th September 2015
Now, a drone event for the real tech obsessives. On 19th of September, the University of Central Lancashire Civic Drone Centre is holding its second hackathon. It is inviting keen flying and engineering enthusiasts to create a UAV which could be utilized in a disaster zone. They will be provided with all of the materials needed to do this – including state of the art 3D printers – as well as the help and expertise of an in house team of coders and UVA pilots. At the end of the day, all of the UAVs created will square off in competition for the Golden Drone prize.
Location: University of Central Lancashire, Preston
Hot Topic Seminar: Drones and Modern Warfare – 25th November 2015
This is a key event for anybody who is interested in the military use of drones. The seminar will feature guest appearances from speakers Dr. Peter Lee and Chris Woods. The latter is a widely published investigative journalist, known for his exploration of covert drone strikes and their consequences. The two speakers will, together, address some of the moral and political issues provoked by UK drone operations over the last five years. This is a serious and sensitive event, but one which promises that you will leave feeling a little more insightful.
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
Dronetech Mixer: Networking for UAV and Aerial Photography Fans – 26th November 2015
This dronetech mixer is a relaxed and informal meeting of UAV/drone specialists and tech experts, end users, and aerial photography enthusiasts. It is also a good opportunity for business owners to learn a little more about how drones could change the future of commerce and delivery. This is a very casual event, so there is no obligation to take part in anything specific – just enjoy the food and drink and get chatting about the next big step for drones.
Location: Harbourside, Bristol
UK Drone Show 2015 – 5th December 2015
This will be the first ever major consumer drone event to take place in the UK, so if you are crazy about quadcopters, do not miss out on this one. It will be held at the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham, and will showcase the latest in aerial and terrestrial done technologies. There will be flying and manufacturing demonstrations, as well as a number of talks on drone safety, drone regulations, and drone development. It is hoped that this will be the first of many, so get yourself down to the first event to experience a little bit of history in the making.
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands