On the 9-10th of April, the European drone community gathered in RAI Amsterdam for a very exciting 3rd edition of the Commercial UAV Expo Europe. Just like the past two years, EUKA announced the winners of the Drone Hero Europe contest 2019 during the exhibition. Six eager finalists competed to become a Drone Hero by pitching their drone innovation project in front of 13 jury members joining in from all across Europe. During the long-awaited award ceremony, three proud winners were announced in three different categories.


1. Start-up Drone Hero

Ronik specializes in the inspection of industrial confined spaces

With the patented RoNik UT Beam drone it is possible to execute UT thickness measurements on I beams of, for example, storage tanks. The UT beam drone is RoNik’s proprietary development and is based on patented technology that enables the drone to measure the thickness of I beams using ultrasonic thickness measurements (UT). The drone has been specially developed for indoor use in industrial confined spaces and can be controlled in the presence of steel and concrete.

Motivation of the jury:“Ronik offers a working solution for a real need with a high potential of scaling up internationally.”

2. International Drone Hero

Clear Flight Solutions offers a bird control solution

Airports, harbours, agricultural- and waste management sites are places where birds are neither safe nor welcome. The only effective and lasting way to remove birds is by introducing a natural enemy and creating a system surrounding this predator. The Robird by Clear Flight Solutions looks and flies like a real bird. Its presence triggers the instinctive behaviour of other birds and is therefore highly effective in bird control.

Motivation of the jury: “Clear Flight Solutions solves a problem on an international scale, making aviation safer and protecting the environment.”

3. Innovative Drone Hero

The University of Zürich presents the foldable drone

The recent advances in state estimation, perception and navigation algorithms have significantly contributed to the ubiquitous use of quadrotors for inspection, mapping, and aerial imaging. PhD Student Davide Falanga from the University of Zürich proposes a novel, simple, yet effective morphing design for quadrotors, consisting of a frame with four independently rotating arms that fold around the mainframe to fly through narrow gaps. The movement of the quadrotor is similar to the movement of a flying bird.

Motivation of the jury:“University of Zürich has built a clever innovation inspired by nature.”

“This year’s winners all brought an idea that is, in fact, easy to think of, but when it comes to creating the technology, it gets complicated,” explains Darshan Divakaran, member of the jury. “So I was very delighted to see that the participants managed to offer working solutions for real needs and problems in today’s society. This contest offers them a global platform to participate and to showcase their products to the world.”

The contest is open to everyone, so we encourage European companies and organizations of all kinds and sizes to participate in next year’s edition. Read more about this unique Drone Hero Europe contest.