Although it sounds callous, the aforementioned Darwinian cull that I just described is actually a very good thing. It separated the wheat from the chaff, and paved the way for the next wave of innovation. I saw far too many aerial filming production companies exhibiting at the show last year, a service that has become highly commoditised. This year what I saw was the epitome of the idiom "survival of the fittest".
UAVs, and the data they collect, are increasingly being used within the civil engineering sector to reduce maintenance and operational costs, and increase safety. Drones are also being used instead of humans to inspect industrial assets, so there will eventually be no need to suspend employees at great heights over land or sea.
As the number and financial strength of businesses operating in the commercial UAV sector increases, so will the volume of money flowing into it from governments in the form of grant funding, as well as private equity. Much of this will be spent on R&D that will further fuel innovation, and turbo-charge the market, resulting in even better products and services previously thought inconceivable.
It is very clear that the commercial UAV industry is experiencing rapid growth, and exciting times lie ahead. I'm looking forward to returning next year to see what a difference a year will make. I have a feeling we'll all be in for a treat.