Godfrey Nolan is founder and president of RIIS LLC, a mobile development firm in the Detroit Metro area. He is also the author of “Agile Swift,” “Agile Android,” “Bulletproof Android,” “Android Best Practices,” “Decompiling Java? and “Decompiling Android.” His company RIIS LLC appears regularly on the DJI Security Contributors Page.

Godfrey spoke with InterDrone about the commercial drone space, but from the perspective of a software developer. Below is what he had to say.

InterDrone: How did you get into the commercial drone space?

GN: RIIS has been developing mobile apps for close to a decade. Since drones use a mobile phone as their video screen and most of the manufacturers have a software developer kit or SDK, it was a simple jump for us to start working on mobile apps for drones.

What are your thoughts on its development so far (whether it be technologically, legal, or use cases)?

GN: It’s very exciting to see how much has been accomplished in such a short period of time. DJI’s Mobile SDK was first made available for the Phantom 3, which is just over 3 years old. Now, from a mobile development perspective, we have a ton of options to choose from. We can develop for a lot more DJI drones, as well as many other manufacturers, and of course we go the open-source route too if needed.

What do you envision the commercial drone space to look like a year or five years from now

GN: I expect to see a big advance coming from the software side of drones to try and catch up with some of the huge advances we’ve seen in the hardware. I expect to see a lot more of today’s manual jobs handled by drones. I expect to see a lot more Artificial Intelligence in the software to automate tasks that humans do today. Many industries will be reinvented such as supply chain management thanks to drones.

If you had one “Wish list? item to have in/happen to the industry today, what would it be?

It’s coming, but we need longer flight times to take advantage of today’s opportunities, let alone tomorrow’s.

You spoke at InterDrone this year, what was your topic? And aside from teaching all the attendees, what was your best takeaway from the show?

GN: I spoke about “Counting Sheep with AI and Drones,” which was about how we used machine learning to count animals. My takeaway is that the market is growing very, very fast. Last year, I thought we were too far ahead of the curve when we were talking about building mobile apps for drones and our message was getting lost. This year, I kicked myself for not getting a booth.

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