In this episode of #LORN, Silvija talks to Kevin Noertker, leader of Ampaire. Kevin discusses the issue of electric aircraft, and how Norway can achieve its goal of having full electrification on all domestic aircraft by 2040. Ampaire was established in Hawthorne, California, and has developed The Ampaire Electric EEL, which is a hybrid-electric aircraft. Silvija and Kevin also discuss drone technology and how this technology can be useful in the development of electric aviation. He describes how drones are enabled by a combination of electrification and artificial intelligence and how it only recently became possible.
What do you do at work?
I work at Ampaire, an aerospace tech startup company located in Los Angeles California. We're backed by the Techstars Accelerator program, and I'm currently working full time here in Oslo.
What is a drone?
A drone is a flying robot which doesn't need direct input from a pilot in order to perform it's key functions. Sometimes, other autonomous vehicles are also being called drones (like autonomous ships).
Why is it exciting?
The most exciting developments happen at the interface between different technologies. Drones are enabled by a combination of electrification and artificial intelligence, which has only recently become possible.
Why is it scary?
Change is scary sometimes, and often times society and regulations struggle to keep up with technology change. Drones with cameras sometimes cause concern about privacy rights, and also sometimes cause concern about the safety integrating over airspace and over populated areas.
Your best example of drone?
I like applications where drones help make jobs safer. My best example is where drones are used to precisely inspect infrastructure and provide real-time information on the system they are observing. This job is dangerous and tedious to do as a person, and perfect for a drone.
Your favorite examples of other Norwegian drones?
I love watching the drone footage flying over the fjords and mountains. So beautiful. It uses high technology to highlight the beautiful nature around us.
How does it really work?
Drones basically have tiny computers that process significant amount of data, including visual and positioning. Depending on the drone, it either relays that information to someone on the ground, or makes decisions on it's own on what to do next.
What do we do uniquely well in Norway this?
I saw an article recently on Norway using drones to clean up the fjords. That's a great use.