Monday, 9 November 2015

Drones, Data X Conference - Westport

Maynooth and the NCG had a presence at the Drones, Data X Conference in Westport last Friday. 

We had one of the exhibitor booths and both Tim McCarthy and myself went over for the Friday session with the Falcon, Bramor, some display monitors and 4 pop-up stands. After a (very) early start and long, dark drive with nothing but Marty Whelan for company we were set-up ready for the first attendees by 8am. 

We were kept busy for most of the rest of the day by attendees asking questions about uses of drones at the University, the sensor hardware or interested in forming links. Lots of very interesting questions - such a wide range of applications being developed. I can honestly say I have never answered so many questions about our work, it is amazing the difference having the stand made when compared to the usual, 'coffee and danish' conversations in a tight corner of a room while trying not to get food on your face/in your teeth. Maybe something to consider for again. Oddly, we were the only drone operator in the room with a fixed-wing - VTOLs were predominant. 

Lots of other interesting exhibitors there: videographers, GNSS receiver manufacturers, drone retailers, drone insurance, training, tourism, 3D Printing ( I told them my tale of woe about my shipwreck adventure, turns out they had done it properly with a DEM of the Lusitania). The usual 'its a small world' of Geomatics theme popped up, as I was sitting having a sandwich and soup with a good friend's cousin.

My regrets from the day are:

1. Not getting a chance to attend any of the talks - I was kept busy at the stand.
2. Not wangling one of the lovely 2016 drone photography calendars from iFly.
3. Not leaving an angry note on the dash of the person who parked me in delaying me from starting the long trip home - that is you silver Citroen!

It ran for two more days I think and I also did my bit for the Mayo tourist board, giving two Americans over from Nevada the hard-sell on the Westport Greenway and the cycle to Achill.

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About Me

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My name is Conor. I am a Lecturer at the Department of Geography at Maynooth University. These few lines will (hopefully) chart my progress through academia and the world of research.