DARC is a multidisciplinary conference about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and drones—with an emphasis on civilian applications.

Attendees will take part in a far-ranging exploration of these technologies and see firsthand the latest advancements in aerial robotics. In addition to looking at the cultural impact, legal challenges, and business potential, we’ll also examine specific applications for drones including: agriculture, policing, wildlife conservation, weather, mapping, logistics, and more.

DARC is not just about theory—it’s also about practice. At the event, you’ll have opportunities to see flying robots in action and maybe even learn how to deploy a drone of your own. In addition to a technology demo, interactive workshops, and vendor booths, we’ve set the entire 3rd day aside for hacking. Register now!


Imagine a near future in which networks of autonomous robots roam the skies, performing everything from law enforcement, to communications, to crop dusting, shipping and logistics. Sound implausible? Perhaps—but that is the future that the aerospace industry and a new class of entrepreneurs are busy preparing.

At this moment, the FAA is working to integrate drones into civilian airspace, forcing a broad reconsideration of the laws and regulatory frameworks that protect vital interests like civil liberties, due process, privacy, innovation, and security.

But while some see peril, others see immense promise. Drones are currently being used by activists to document protests and police abuse, environmental violations, wildlife poaching and oil spills. Journalists imagine rapidly deployable tools for investigative reporting. Futurists envision a complete revolution in humanitarian response, with drones surveying disaster areas and coordinating the delivery of supplies and medication. In one form or another, our skies are about to get more interesting.

Are we ready?

Drones are perhaps most closely associated with American foreign policy. But the drone phenomenon is much bigger. Whether deployed to protect endangered species in Sub-Saharan Africa, capture images from dramatic political protests, or dust crops in the American midwest, drones will reshape commerce, law enforcement, journalism, and other aspects of public life and culture in the 21st century.

Aerial robotics are being developed by legions of tinkerers and makers in garages, as well as multi-billion dollar defense companies. From $100 to $100,000, they’re propelled by many of the same factors as the personal computer—Moore’s law, economies of scale, ever more sophisticated software built by large companies or open source hackers.

At DARC, you will meet the engineers, businesspeople, lawyers, futurists, and elected officials who are making civilian drones commonplace.

Issues to be explored at DARC

General Interest & Zeitgeist

Makers & entrepreneurs

Law & regulation

Privacy & surveillance