Drones are gradually beginning to play a role in our everyday lives. The canton of Vaud has anticipated this evolution and has been establishing itself for a number of years as the undisputed leader in this particular domain. In terms of aviation, the authorities in Switzerland have always been open to new types of air space usage, which has proved to be a real driver of innovation in terms of drones and has also increased public acceptance of them.As a consequence, the authorities in the canton of Vaud are very much behind the development of new and innovative uses of air space. Various companies and academic institutions are working hand in hand to develop drones that are smaller and lighter than ever and which can be used not only for in-flight control systems, but also for low-power applications such as search and rescue. In this respect, the EPFL and the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Robotics constitute an impressive pool of start-up talent and have given rise to various spin-offs, such as senseFly, Pix4D and Flyability. Finally, important efforts are being made in the development of means of certification and control of drones to ensure that air space can be shared in total safety, and the Swiss Aeropole in Payerne is fast becoming a leading centre of competency in this field.
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