Eyes in the Sky: Resources to Learn about Drones

Exciting research is happening at Penn’s GRASP Laboratory in the fields of robotics and drones, and the applications of drone technology are being seen in ever-expanding industries. Entrepreneurs on campus, such as Josh Phifer, Vince Kuchar and Nichin Sreekantaswamy, the founders of Barn Owl Systems,  are developing business ideas which include drones, entering business plan competitions and launching businesses. As librarians, we can begin to identify trends based on the number of questions we receive from our students, faculty and staff about specific topics. We can tell you, drones are hot!

You can search databases to which Lippincott Library subscribes to learn more about drones. As you search, note that drones are known by other names. Keywords such as unmanned aerial vehicles, UAV, unmanned aircraft systems, UAS, unmanned combat air vehicles and  UACV are all related to drones.

IBIS World Industry Reports provide broad overviews of industries in the US and China. Here you will find a report for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Manufacturing which outlines industry performance, operating conditions and more.

drones-by-typeIf you are looking for a global perspective on the drone industry, use BCC Research. In this database, you will find more details about the technology of drones and their markets by application, type, subsystem and region. The report, Drone Technology and Global Markets is 111 pages of market information and analysis. In BCC, you will also find reports about the sensors and batteries used in UAVs.

For even more specific market applications of drones, Marketresearch.com Academic has a report titled: Commercial and Military Drones: Technologies, Solutions, Market Outlook, and Forecasts 2016 – 2021. Details about enabling technologies and applications are covered in this 186 page report.

In EMIS, you can access company profiles, research reports and more. One of the market research report providers in EMIS is Technavio which produces country, regional and global reports. In EMIS, search for Technavio and click on Technavio Regional Market Assessment Reports, and then switch to their Global Market Assessment Reports. A search for drone will yield reports such as: Global Commercial Purpose Drone Market, Global Defense Drones Market, Global Civilian Drones Market, and more. A search for unmanned will reveal reports such as:  Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market and Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Payload Market. Technavio reports often include a Five Forces Analysis.

Business Source Complete contains trade, academic and news articles which cover unmanned aerial vehicles. Search for words such as: drones OR uav OR unmanned aerial vehicles. From the results you can limit using the filters on the left side of the page. Here, you will find everything from an article with consumer drone ratings in Consumer Reports to video from the Associated Press of drone competitions.

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Our technology focused industry research databases, Gartner, Forrester and IDC also offer some articles about drones.

Beyond the library’s subscription databases, industry associations and governmental websites in this field are also important to consult. The FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems web page links to regulations and resources. The AUVSI is the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and UAVSA is a subsidiary of the Tesla Foundation Group. Both associations connect people within the industry.

In rapidly changing industries, information is being added to our databases on a regular basis. Contact the Lippincott Librarians, and we will be happy to direct you to resources to assist in your research!

$1000s in Free Market Research—At the Library!

This post originally appeared in Wharton Entrepreneurship’s Blog:

As an entrepreneur on campus, you will be impressed and excited by the types of resources the library provides. Are you looking for trade journals to read to develop ideas; industry research to learn about sectors; demographics databases to identify customers; company directories to create a list of possible competitors; financial benchmarks to draft projections; or deal summaries to understand the funding climate? The library can help! We strive to purchase resources used across academic and corporate settings, including more than 120 business related databases, most of which are available to students, faculty and staff of Penn with their PennKey and password, anywhere they have an internet connection, through the library website.

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With so many resources, it can be daunting to know where to start! Fortunately, we’ve built in some help from theLippincott Library home page. Our Research Guides are authored by our business librarians and organized by topic. Our Business FAQ offers quick answers to commonly asked questions.  But the absolute best way to learn how to navigate our resources is to contact my colleagues and me at Lippincott Library. Send us an email at lippinco@wharton.upenn.edu, call us at 215-898-5924, chat with us, stop by the library, or visit us in Huntsman in GSR 251 from 12:30 to 1:30pm, Mondays through Thursdays during the semester. We can direct you to library assets most relevant to your topic, provide instruction on effective database searching and assist you in developing a strategy to find what you want.

Do you want to scour the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal every day to track trends and news? You can do that with Factiva.

Do you want to read trade journals about the beverage industry because you are interested in launching a kombucha tea business? You can do that with Business Source Complete.

Do you want to get an overview of demographics and spending behavior of America’s pet owners? You can do that with Mintel.

Do you want to get perspective on remote patient monitoring systems? You can do that with Marketresearch.com Academic. And yes, you are reading that correctly. That report is valued at $4200, and you have access because you are affiliated with Penn.

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The resources available through the Penn Libraries are vast. Save yourself time, and contact us to explore valuable information to develop your entrepreneurial ideas. You will wonder why you didn’t talk to us sooner!

Please see our Research Guide, Entrepreneurship and Small Business for additional resources.