DARC 2013 is a wrap!

It’s been just over a month since the first Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference, and we’d like to extend a deep and sincere thanks to everyone who made it possible. It was our distinct honor to host 700 of you last month in New York City.

As drones proliferate and become more accessible, there is a need for true public discourse; to influence policy in a way that protects the public, while continuing to promote innovation. The Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU is an ideal place from which to stage this important work. The Center sponsors interdisciplinary work in the general area of innovation law and policy. It draws together legal scholars and practitioners, economists, historians, culturalists, social scientists, and representatives of the innovation industries to advance the public interest. Thanks to your participation in DARC, Engelberg has been able to extend its work into the UAS space. We hope you will join us in this ongoing effort.

DARC was a very big undertaking, and many thanks are in order. We’d like to especially thank the conference supporters—MacArthur Foundation, Yale ISP, Princeton CITP, Parrot S.A., DJI Innovations North America, the NYU Information Law Institute, the NYU Rudin Center, and Ocupop—as well as all our speakers, sessions leaders, and volunteers. And of course, thank you to everyone who attended the event and contributed to such a rich, multidisciplinary gathering.

DARC was the first multi-stakeholder conference on drones and society, and we think it was a huge success. It’s not everyday that hobbyists, roboticists, fighter pilots, officials, entrepreneurs, activists and hackers get together to talk about the future.

We hosted over 25 talks, 5 keynotes, two panels, and a live drone demo show. Then there was the core of the conference—over 20 cross-disciplinary roundtables and working groups on topics ranging from safety, privacy, civilian integration, and drone journalism.

That’s not an exhaustive description of the conference. It was much more: on Twitter, in the national discussion, and in the aftermath, we hope DARC has made a lasting contribution to the fields of UAS technical research, legal study and activism.

For an overview of the conference activities, see our schedule summary.

Though the federal shutdown unfortunately made an official regulatory presence impossible, the DARC community research and consultation project is underway. Check out our policy guidebook, which we prepared as a primer for conference participants.

We’ll be publishing session notes on individual session pages. You can review the entire schedule here.

Getting involved in DARC research

DARC is a multi-stakeholder think tank to study and shape drone law. Since DARC, we have seen the release of the FAA draft guidelines for UAS in the NAS. And many of the policy proposals floated at DARC will grow into real proposals in the coming weeks and months. We are working on a way for conference attendees to contribute to an ongoing research and advocacy effort, and to get community feedback and amplification on new ideas and initiatives for the safe integration of civilian drones. There’s lots more work to do, so stay tuned to @droneconference or sign up for our mailing list for details as this effort unfolds. You can also get in touch directly.

DARC media

Check out the Engelberg Center Flickr pool to see the official photos from DARC 2013. There’s a nice curated selection on the DARC Facebook page, too.

We’ll be releasing videos from DARC 2013 starting tomorrow. Follow us in the medium of your choice!

If you’re not already following @droneconference on Facebook and Twitter—please do!

DARC 2014

We’re exploring how to continue the conference in the future. Please follow us on Twitter for updates.

If you’re interested in sponsoring DARC 2014, or to contributing to the event with research, demonstrations, policy proposals, or volunteer time—please get in touch!

Press highlights

DARC in pictures

See you next time!

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