Over the past few years, the use of drones in both a commercial and a personal environment has risen considerably. One area, in particular, that seems to have benefited largely from the introduction of drones is within the realms of data collection. Through the use of these robotic flying machines, teams can monitor and survey large areas of land more efficiently without impacting any of the landscape or their own safety. 

However, some people do have some concerns over the potential safety, ethics, and security issues that may come with these drones. To help ease some of those concerns, Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs teamed up with various drone companies to discuss the potential models for governing these devices while in the skies. 

These were also some of the things discussed at the very first ‘Robotics Skies Workshop: The Role of Private Industry and Public Policy in Shaping the Drones Industry’. It was a chance to get policymakers, practitioners, and experts from the government, industry, and academia to discuss the upcoming regulatory challenges faced by the Unmanned and Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (UAVs & AAVs) industry. 

Some of the main points discussed were things like advancements in geofencing, the use of drones as a service, raising awareness as to the safe use of drones, and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM). Key speakers at the event included Jessie Mooberry, Head of Deployment with Altiscope from Airbus, Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of Mobility and Transport from the European Commision, and Christian Struwe, Head of Public Policy Europe at DJI.

“I am pleased to see that the first workshop on the future of autonomous drones perfectly fulfills the Oxford Centre’s long-term vision to serve as a powerful policy-building hub for the beneficial development of breakthrough technologies,” says Artur Kluz, the Centre’s Founding Donor. Jessie Mooberry commented: “By convening industry, government, academia, and civil service, Robotic Skies fostered necessary deep and wide conversations about the role of automation on our airspace as well as the physical and digital infrastructure required to enable this future.”

The Centre provides a place where collaboration takes place and resolutions are found. Robotic Skies is a great way to bridge the gap between researchers and policymakers across the world and is the first of many planned events to be held at the Centre.

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