From 1 to 3 September 2017, EPFL’s Ecublens campus will host the first-ever EPFL Drone Days. This event, which will include the Swiss drone racing championship, a robotics showcase and related conferences, is expected to attract a broad public.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) will be the stage for an unprecedented air show during the EPFL Drone Days this coming September. The event, which is being organized in partnership with the National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics (NCCR Robotics), the Swiss Rotor Sports Association (SRSA) and the World Air Sports Federation (FAI), will combine a spectacular drone race, an exhibition on the latest advances in robotics research, and conferences on innovation, safety and sport – all in the same place. EPFL Drone Days is aimed at both the general public and experts in aerial technology, and visitors will be able to watch demonstrations, attend workshops and try their hand at flying with either a drone or a simulator.
The country’s top pilots
Spectacular drone races will be held on campus throughout the three days as part of the SRSA Cup 2017. Switzerland’s top flyers – wearing special viewing goggles that receive a live feed from an on-board camera so that they can steer from the drones’ perspective – will race at speeds of up to 150kmph. The best pilots will take part in the final on Sunday 3 September. The race is part of the official Swiss FPV Racing Championship and will be a qualifier for the ERSA Euro Cup 2017.
In the building next door to the racecourse, NCCR Robotics will put on an interactive exhibition showcasing the latest cutting-edge drone research conducted at EPFL. At the stands and workshops, visitors will be given an inside look at the technologies of the future, from a drone that can be folded up to one that beats its wings like a bird.
Innovation, safety and sport
For the third component of the event, the Rolex Learning Center will host the International Drones Conference and Expo, organized by the FAI. A series of talks on drone-related innovation, safety and sport will be given by experts, who will discuss future challenges in terms of the industry, events and legislation. While there will be no charge to attend EPFL Drone Days, there will be an entrance fee for the FAI conferences, for which visitors must register online at www.fai-dronesconference.org.
The aim is for EPFL Drone Days to become a key aerial robotics event, held on a campus that is renowned for its research and innovation. Three annual editions have already been planned up to 2019.
Text written by Sarah Aubort (EPFL Mediacom)