Drone Use Cases and Challenges Workshop

Drone Use Cases and Challenges Workshop

This workshop took place at INNOSpace in Bern on April 27th. The workshop was structured into two important use cases for drones: medical and logistics with last mile delivery.

Results: 9 excellent speakers, 40+ participants, 6 cluster of challenges explored and 23 ideas identified during an ideation workshop.


09:00-10:00  Welcome breakfast +Registration

10:00-10:15    Welcome

10:15- 12:15    Presentations by use case + 2 discussion panels

12:15- 13:15    Lunch

13:15 – 17:00  Ideation Workshop + Apero

The workshop was moderated by Eszter Kovacs, CEO of DroneTalksonline, and the ideation workshop was run by INNOArchitects.

We had 9 distinguished speakers representing a broad spectrum of industries and user- perspectives.

Fruzsina Homolka, Chief Data Steward atFederal Roads Office FEDRO
Joerg Beckmann, theTouring Club Suisse,  co-founder of Drone & Vertical Air Mobility Academy
Christian Pfeiffer, Senior Scientist at theUniversity of Zurich, in the Robotics and Perception Group
Tommaso Portaluri, the Sustainability Lead and Grant Coordinator atVerity
Larissa Haas, the Policy Coordinator for the Strategy and Innovation Unit at theFederal Office of Civil Aviation Switzerland
Ning Wang, the BRIDGE Lab Lead at the University of Zurich in the Digital Society Initiative
Adrian Elkuch, the Managing Director ofMatternet Operations in Switzerland
Maurus Immoos, the Project Lead for Logistics & Services atStadtspital ZürichTriemli
Herbert Weirather, the CEO ofJedsy

We learned about the complexities of operations of drones, connected the dots between the road, mobility, and air by exploring data macro trends, found out about regulatory framework impacting drones and saw innovative solutions for drones used at a Swiss hospital and in warehouses. Speakers shared their problems and challenges – come to our future events, pick up these challenges and innovate by using our funding!

During the workshop the following challenges have been identified:

Top Challenges Higher Education Faced In 2018

Explored Challenges: 

The challenges identified were clustered into 6 categories:


Cluster 1  – SOCIETY

How can we reduce concerns, negative perception, and increase trust and acceptance?


How can we improve the E2E journey by implementing standards, interfaces and leveraging partnerships?


How can we leverage the U-Space and testing environment in Zurich area?


How do we get the traffic off the roads?

Cluster 5LAST MILE

How can we improve last mile delivery and urban landing?

Cluster 6 – DATA

How can we leverage data to increase safety and sustainability?

Then the following ideas have been identified:

Home - IDEAS, Brand and Experience Design, Orlando, FL

Explored Solutions:

Solutions Cluster 1: SOCIETY

  • Start with STEM (e.g. Dronistics + Toys) / involve activities for children to win their interest
  • Survey public on top 10 concerns to know more about what the complaints and concerns are
  • Learn from international experience
  • Government regulated air corridors for private usage in urban areas/distinguish between commercial and private drones operation


  • MVP container between 2-3 actors – try to bring people on a table
  • Standard protocol to communicate position between drones

 Solutions Cluster 3: SANDBOX/TESTING

  • Register online for free testing slots
  • Standards in testing and certification (simulation before real life)
  • Radar Safety path planning (centralized)
  • Landing within trees, buildings
  • Implement parachute
  • Collect delivery data and design the drone size based on that


  • More efficient road-use through automation/ last mile delivery via drones
  • Personalized drone delivery
  • Segregated transportation corridors for autonomous drones/cars/trains

Solutions Cluster 5: LAST MILE

  • Bring it to my door / window/balcony drone delivery
  • Drone ports/pick-up drone stations throughout the city
  • Ultrasound beacons on landing pods
  • Protection around propellers
  • Standardized “gripping locations” on packages

Solutions Cluster 6: DATA

  • FOCA/FEDRO data exchange software/ traffic information from drone real life – engaging in exchange and collaboration within the cross-cutting mobility domain (such as other mobility types e.g. aerial/drones) and leverage the potential of exchanging data and collaborate on data projects, including setting the legal basis for this work and testing/prototyping in innovative ways
  • Drones gathering weather info – share it around and become a sensor. It very important to understand where and for what to use different technologies (such as drones). The use should fit to the purpose/needs. It should be discovered where drone data could be useful. Thinking about using drones where it would be useful such as in real time weather forecast for improving road safety alerts of road users, drones as they are based on computer vision in some situations (if possible). This is something to be explored.
  • Service of drones based on service

Three potential innovation teams by leader:

  • Michel Lauria from Hepia – Last Mile – Propeller Protection – Create stronger security shield
  • Nicola Flury for Digisky- Air Traffic – Autonomy – Design path planning and control algorithms for air traffic to reduce road capacity
  • Aman Sharma from EPFL – Delivery- Develop and investigate protocols that can be used to transmit position and communication

If you have not attended the event and you want to explore the above challenges by submitting a proposals for funding, you are more than welcome to do so.