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EPFL will be abuzz with drones this summer

© 2018 EPFL / Alain Herzog

© 2018 EPFL / Alain Herzog

Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne will again be drone central for three days this year, from 31 August to 2 September. EPFL Drone Days was first held in 2017 and attracted 5,000 visitors.

EPFL Drone Days 2018 will feature drone races, a robotics expo and expert speakers from around the world. Following up on last year's success, the EPFL campus will again welcome drone amateurs and specialists alike for three family-friendly days of aerial robotics and eye-popping discoveries. This year’s event, which is being put together with the support of the World Air Sports Federation (FAI), the Swiss Rotor Sports Association (SRSA) and the EPFL association AéroPoly, will highlight the many applications for drones, their increasing use in everyday life and issues of airspace management.

Flying like a bird

This year, for the first time, visitors will have numerous opportunities to take the controls of a drone for a simulated or live test flight. They will be able to take a drone for a quick spin, flying either by sight or by video using a special headset that gives them a birds’ eye view.

Just like last year, this year’s event will culminate in a spectacular drone race high above campus. Practice sessions will punctuate the weekend, a night race through an LED-illuminated course will be held on Saturday evening, and the grand finale on Sunday afternoon will crown the best Swiss pilot from among 70 competitors.

Fun for all ages

On Saturday and Sunday, a robotics expo will give visitors a sneak peek at the latest innovations coming out of EPFL labs and startups and out of companies operating in Switzerland’s “drone valley.” Young and old alike will be able to get their hands dirty at a number of robotics workshops and in activities specially designed for children. Demonstrations will also run throughout the weekend.

To cap things off, a series of specialist presentations will be given in the Forum of the Rolex Learning Center on Friday and Saturday. Some 40 speakers will address topics involving innovation, safety and sports. These presentations, organized in conjunction with Lausanne Tourism, are paid events and require advance registration.

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is emerging as a hotbed of aerial robotics research. Drones are at the center of cutting-edge technological innovations in fields ranging from humanitarian aid to agriculture and medical delivery, not to mention high-speed racing.

Free event, apart from the presentations (advance registration required).

For more information: dronedays.epfl.ch

Author: Sarah Aubort
Source: Mediacom

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