CES 2017 - a look at the future II - Drones

At the Las Vegas CES (Consumer Electronics Show), the future of drones is in the making: an impressive take-off.

For the 2017 edition of CES, half an exhibition hall was devoted to drones alone! A regular timetable of demonstrations including grouped flights, drone gliding, rhythmic flights and acrobatic flights offered proof of the excitement spurred by this market and the exponential developments we can now expect. From the size of a fly to that of an ultralight aircraft, capable of transporting a passenger, drones now come in all sizes and for all applications.

With an estimated growth of 40% and a 2017 sales figure in the region of $1.2Bn, corresponding to the sale of 3.4 million drones, this emerging device is playing it "custom", autonomous and modular. Largely dominated by Asian manufacturers and their open legislation, drones come in an infinite range of forms for equally infinite uses.

Drone Star Wars


Pocket Drone

DJI's foldaway pocket-size Mavic Drone


The Easter Drone

This ovoid drone, in the shape of a Fabergé egg, opens and closes for take-off and landing.


The Donuts Drone

This toroidal-shaped mini drone, so small it can be held in the palm of the hand, is controlled by smartphone for indoor flight.


With or without a camera, with or without a sensor, for industrial or private use, for recreational or professional purposes, drone flying is gradually overcoming environmental and meteorological constraints. Embedded intelligence is continuously expanded and corrected, hence enabling devices to be controlled in a far more intuitive and natural manner. The drone automatically returns to its take-off point. It independently controls stabilised flight. When equipped with a camera, it can analyse images to find its own way back to the landing strip in the case of signal loss. Flights are becoming longer, autonomy is increasing and with the advent of air bags and parachutes, added safety is also on the agenda.

According to specialists, the drone's future promises to be as amusing as it does professional, and affordable for all.

These devices can now be found in the fields of logistics, photography, mapping, agriculture, structure analysis, including for military and policing applications.

Three-quarters of future drone applications are as yet unknown to us. However, one thing is sure, legislation and standards will need to rapidly adapt to suit this new and extensive use of air space, failing which, disorder and confusion will reign over what is permitted, forbidden, dangerous or suicidal.