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Bristol 'key centre' for building and use of drones, says expert

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 19 June 2018 16:32

Bristol 'key centre' for building and use of drones, says expert

Bristol is at the centre of a fast-growing drone industry that has the potential to transform the delivery of public services such as health and social care, an aerospace engineering expert has said.

Dr Steve Wright, associate professor in aerospace engineering at UWE, told technology professionals in Bristol that the city is becoming a “key centre” for the building and use of drones.

Speaking at an event at the Bristol offices of legal practice Osborne Clarke, Dr Wright said the use of drone technology would soon move away from purely aerial reconnaissance, surveillance and inspection roles into more physically interactive applications.

Read more: Digital and creative minister Margot James visits Bristol to discuss city's 5G technology developments

He said: “A new industry is growing up here in Bristol from the bottom up, dominated by start-ups, around both the building and use of drones, but the industry as a whole is still at the ‘1918 point.’

“By that I mean we are at the same stage as the aircraft industry was 100 years ago – the Wright brothers had flown their maiden flight and we had built the Sopwith Camel, but not yet the Spitfire, let alone the F-22.

“With UAVs one can’t say with certainty exactly what the future holds but I can’t wait to find out and be along for the ride.”

David Rowan, founding editor-in-chief of science and technology magazine WIRED UK, told the audience that technology would continue to drive major changes in society and the UK workforce.



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