CES 2019 drone preview: all the drones you can expect to see in Vegas this year

The International CES 2019 show kicks off this year on Jan. 8 in Las Vegas Nevada.

The technology trade show, which runs through Jan. 11, features a slew of the latest and greatest tech across all industries. Expect to see 5G, voice-powered devices, mood detectors, foldable screens and plenty of self-driving cars. But what can you expect to see specific to the drone industry?

Here’s your CES 2019 drone preview:

Drones that charge while in flight

Since battery life remains one of the biggest pain points with drones, companies are starting to develop ways to charge them while in flight.

Global Energy Transmission’s hotspot

One company, Global Energy Transmission claims that it enables battery-powered drones to fly forever. Drones hover for a few minutes in a pre-installed charging area (called a GET power hotspot). The drone power hotspots can be installed kilometers apart along flight routes. Once in the hotspot, the drone is recharging via the company’s wireless power receiving system.

Amazon drones

When people hear drones, one of the first things that comes to mind among the general public is Amazon drone delivery. So what can you expect to see from the Amazon drone team this year?

In an odd and rather anti-climactic play, this year Amazon drones are all about safety. Amazon’s HS3C team (the arm of Amazon that focuses on regulation and compliance; HS3C stands for Health, Safety, Sustainability, Security and Compliance) will partner with the Federal Aviation Administration to host a presentation on safety.

It’s unclear if we’ll get more clarity on what most people are waiting for — Amazon drone delivery — at this year’s show.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao

Official government presence

Beyond the FAA partnership with Amazon, you can expect more official government presence at CES this year.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will deliver the Jan. 9 keynote at 11 a.m., titled “The New Mobility Revolution.” The keynote will address not only drones but also self-driving technology, touching on their future and how both technologies will revolutionize transportation.

The Sublue Nano

Underwater drones

We’ve seen underwater drones in the past, such as the PowerRay drone from Chinese drone manufacturer PowerVision, and Blueye’s underwater drone. But underwater drones are getting an upgrade in 2019.

Among the underwater drones you can expect to see is the MITO, the first robot from a company called Navatics, which was co-founded by engineers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The Navatics MITO is a remotely operated underwater vehicle that claims its active stabilization algorithm improves levels of steadiness for underwater video. The Navatics MITO ships in March.

Underwater robotics specialist Sublue will unveil a prototype of an underwater drone called Nano. The drone’s integrated propeller-motor system and underwater balance control system are intended to make controlling underwater drones more precise. Besides drones, Sublue will also launch an underwater scooter called Seabow and an electric swimming kickboard for non-swimmers called Swii.


Industrial drones

In line with recent trends in the drone industry, expect a shift away from the kitschy drone tech that fueled the drone hype bubble, and a shift toward drones for industrial applications.

Industrial drone specialist GDU will unveil SAGA, a lightweight and compact drone that targets industrial use-cases, including public security, firefighting, infrastructure, agriculture, inspections and construction site mapping. SAGA is unique for its infrared front 720p HD camera. It has 35 minutes of flight time, an ascent speed of 16.4 feet/s and flight speed of 49 feet/s.

NASA’s Dr. Parimal Kopardekar

Plenty of panels

Of course, you won’t just see new drone tech — you’ll get to hear the experts talk about it. You can expect to see panels on topics like drone delivery in retail, or policy and privacy. A panel about flying taxis will likely draw some crowds and will include panelists like NASA’s Dr. Parimal Kopardekar who has been hugely instrumental in the agency’s work on air traffic control for drones (aka Unmanned Traffic Management or UTM), as well as Tom Prevot, the Director of Engineering for Airspace Systems at Uber.

You’ll find most of the drone tech this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center in South Hall 2.

Here’s a complete list of drone and drone-related companies that are expected to exhibit this year at CES 2019:

  • 4S Mapper
  • Ability Opto-Electronics Technology Co., Ltd.
  • AEE Technology Inc.
  • Aeva, Inc
  • AG Optics Co., Ltd.
  • AirSelfie
  • ALX Systems
  • Amazon HS3C
  • Argosdyne
  • Astral AR
  • Autel Robotics
  • Beijing Sunshine Int’l. Trade Show Promotion
  • Bell
  • Bigben
  • Cepton Technologies Inc.
  • Chasing-Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Coherent Logix
  • Creative Technology
  • Dailywell Electronics Co., Ltd.
  • Dandelion Air, LLC
  • DarwinAI
  • Deseret UAS
  • DGL Group
  • Dialectic Distribution LLC
  • Digital Trends
  • DJI
  • DPI, Inc.
  • Drone Act
  • Drone Analytics
  • Drones for Work
  • Dronistics
  • eCapture3D
  • Edgybees
  • Efficient Power Conversion
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • F&E Trading
  • FLIR Systems Inc.
  • Fluidity Technologies
  • FOLDAWAY haptics
  • GDU-Tech Co., Ltd.
  • Global Energy Transmission Co.
  • Goertek, Inc.
  • Goldex Ltd.
  • GoPro, Inc.
  • Guangdong Attop Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Guangzhou Childhood Technology Co.,Ltd
  • Guilin Feiyu Technology Incorporated Co., Ltd.
  • Hardware Club
  • Higher Ground LLC
  • Hirose Electric Co., Ltd.
  • HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd.
  • Hixon (Shenzhen) Technology Limited
  • Hoversurf
  • InnoMaps Corp
  • Innoviz Technologies Ltd.
  • International Supplies
  • Inuitive
  • IonTerra Transportation and Aviation Technologies
  • Itron
  • JD.com
  • JOYDRONE Co., Ltd.
  • Kai Deng International Industrial Ltd.
  • Kunshan Pugongying Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd
  • Lau International Distribution Pte Ltd
  • LeddarTech
  • LifeTree
  • Light&Magic Technologies Ltd.
  • Lilliput Electronics (USA) Inc.
  • Litra LLC
  • Lume Cube LLC
  • M D Enterprises
  • MAD Gaze Limited
  • Micro-Ant LLC
  • Microsystems Co., Ltd.
  • Moontech
  • MotionPilot
  • N.E.M. Electronics Corp.
  • Navatics Technology Ltd.
  • Navitas Semiconductor
  • NewBeeDrone
  • NFT
  • Nidec Corporation
  • Notilo Plus SAS
  • OAXIS Asia Pte Ltd.
  • Oceanalpha Company Limited
  • Orqa
  • PixArt Imaging
  • PowerPhoto Corp
  • PowerSphyr Inc.
  • Powervision Robot Corp.
  • ProLogium Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Regulus Cyber
  • Robby Technology
  • RoboSea
  • Rochester Precision Optics
  • Ryder System, Inc.
  • Sba loan group
  • Sejong University
  • Shenzhen AreoX Technologies Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen CNest Electronics Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen Geneinno Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen Gten Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen High Great Innovation Technology Developm
  • Shenzhen Honcell Energy Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen LeveTop Technology Co.,Ltd
  • Shenzhen Melasta Battery Co.,Ltd
  • Shenzhen Qi Yuan Science and Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen Simtoo Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen Top-Peak Electronics Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen Topsky Technology Industrial Limited
  • Shenzhen Vxfly Intelligent Information Technology
  • Shenzhen Weccan Toys Co., Ltd.
  • Shenzhen Xiangnong Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shida Battery Technology Co., Ltd.
  • SiLC Technologies, Inc
  • Sony Electronics Inc.
  • SOS Lab. Co. Ltd.
  • Sublue Underwater AI Co., Ltd.
  • Sunflower Labs
  • Sunny Opotech North America Inc.
  • Swellpro Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Switzerland Pavilion
  • Taoglas USA, Inc.
  • TDK Corporation
  • Tenergy Corporation
  • The Tiffen Company
  • this is engineering Inc.
  • T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck
  • Tolemaica
  • Total & Uavia
  • Trade Commission of Spain – ICEX
  • TriEye
  • TriLumina Corp.
  • TRINAMIC Motion Control
  • Unicore Communications Inc.
  • Union Group
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • UVify, Inc.
  • Viatek Consumer Products Group
  • ViShare Technology Limited
  • Vivitar/Sakar
  • Volta
  • WindShape
  • XDynamics
  • Xiamen Leading Optics Co., Ltd.
  • Xilinx Inc.
  • Xvisio Technology
  • Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
  • Yape S.r.l.
  • Youcan Robotics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
  • Yuneec USA Inc.


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