#007 – Dissecting Drone Industry News with Ben Popper of The Verge

In Podcast by Ian Smith


For The Verge, Ben Popper has reviewed every one of the most important drones of the past few years. Ian and Ben dissect the latest news from the drone industry including 3DR’s layoffs, DJI’s dominance, the promise of Yuneec, Xiaomi’s new drone, GoPro’s moonshot, and the FAA’s Part 107 rule.

Episode notes:

  • How did Ben Popper get into drones?
  • When reviewing drones for The Verge, what do you typically focus on in order to give the most comprehensive overview and recommendation for the product?
    • Price, performance, ease of use—the holy trinity
  • How far has the drone industry come in the past 3 years?
    • Similar end goal to robotic, autonomous driving cars
  • Recent drone industry news topics:
    • Geofencing—DJI Geo “will now help pilots avoid forest fires, popes, and nuclear power plants”
    • 3DR—going through layoffs, Solo lack of success, trying to pivot into software and commercial applications with Sony and AutoDesk partnerships. What’s next?
    • Yuneec’s fighting chance: being based in China and partnered with Intel
    • GoPro’s moonshot, the Karma drone—delays, company revenues dropped 50%, stock price way down
    • Current state of drone delivery in light of Part 107
  • Ben Popper is an editor at The Verge—check it out for the latest drone reviews from Ben
  • Take the FAA practice test for Part 61 at FAASafety.gov

Follow Ben Popper on Twitter @BenPopper