AUVSI announces finalists for XCELLENCE awards

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has announced a list of finalists in multiple categories up for AUVSI XCELLENCE awards. This is top-tier industry recognition, and anyone who made the list has achieved something worth of note.

The AUVSI XCELLENCE awards are a big deal in the drone industry. Achieving recognition at this level is a huge feather in the cap for any individual or organization who makes the list. There are some names you’ll recognize in a moment, but many others that aren’t yet household names (at least in drone households).

Let’s take a look.


The president and CEO of AUVSI, Brian Wynne, says drones played important new roles during the global pandemic, and it’s appropriate that some of those efforts are recognized.

During the last year, the unmanned systems industry rose to meet urgent new challenges posed by the pandemic. It is inspiring to see organizations and companies that led this charge among the XCELLENCE Awards finalists. As unmanned systems become increasingly integrated within our society, AUVSI is pleased to recognize this distinguished group for their innovative work that will accelerate our industry forward toward assured autonomy.

In the words of its news release, the awards “will honor innovators with a demonstrated commitment to advancing autonomy, leading and promoting safe adoption of unmanned systems, and developing programs that use these technologies to save lives and improve the human condition.”

Those are all worthwhile, and often noble, pursuits.

The nominees

Those nominated are split into multiple categories. And here they are:

XCELLENCE in Operations

Enterprise Solution Deployment and Service Provider

  • AlarisPro, UAS Fleet Management, AlarisPro Fleet Management SaaS
  • PABLO AIR Co., Ltd., PAMNet (Pablo Air Mobility Network)
  • Raptor Maps Inc., Software to Increase Utility-Scale and C&I Solar Farm (PV System) Returns
  • UVL Robotics, Inc., Inventory Drones
  • Volansi, Critical Cold-chain Medical Logistics Drone Delivery In North Carolina

XCELLENCE in Technology

Enabling Components & Peripherals

  • Botlink, Botlink XRD2
  • Elsight, The Halo Platform — Powered by Elsight’s 6th Sense Connectivity
  • Hesai Technology, PandarXT-32
  • Sagetech Avionics, MX12B Micro IFF Transponder
  • Velodyne Lidar, Velarray M1600

Hardware & Systems Design

  • Ascent AeroSystems, Benefits of a Coaxial UAS
  • Connect Tech Inc., Rudi-AGX Embedded System
  • Embry-Riddle, Embry-Riddle Maritime RobotX Autonomous Vessel System
  • SBG SYSTEMS, Ellipse-D
  • UCAL Fuel Systems Limited, Autonomous Amphibious Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AAUAV) & Mountable Water Sampling Device for Water Based Applications

Software Design & Coding

  • Autonodyne LLC, UxV Common Control Station with Autonomy Engine Creating Software Defined Vehicles
  • Exyn Technologies, ExynAI: Omni-platform Software with Level 4 Autonomy
  •, Kittyhawk Air Control
  • SkyGrid, A Boeing, SparkCognition Company, SkyGrid Flight Control
  • Skyward, A Verizon company, Skyward Drone Management Platform

XCELLENCE in Innovation

  • American Robotics, American Robotics Scout System
  • Northern Plains UAS Test Site, Vantis: Opening the Sky for True BVLOS
  • Northrop Grumman, Distributed Autonomy/Responsive Control (DA/RC)
  • Robotic Research, Pegasus Mini
  • Skydio, Skydio 3D Scan

Wait, there’s more!

And there is. AUVSI also takes time to single out for recognition those organizations, companies, and individuals who are committed to using the power of unmanned vehicles for humanitarian and public safety purposes. Three finalists from each of these categories will be honored:

XCELLENCE in Mission

Humanitarian Project/Program

  • UNICEF African Drone & Data Academy (ADDA)/Virginia Tech, African Drone & Data Academy (ADDA)
  • ALTI UAS (Pty) Ltd, ALTI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operation Blacktip — ALTI Flying in Misool
  • DroneUp, Residential Drone Delivery of At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits
  • MissionGO, MissionGO Completes Longest UAS Human Organ Delivery Flight
  • Northrop Grumman, Northrop Grumman Firebird with Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Assists Cal Fire During 2020 Wildfire Season
  • Swoop Aero Pty Ltd, Swoop Aero Air Logistics Platform

Public Safety

  • AirShip Technologies Group, Inc., Blueprint for a Medical Transport UAM Medevac Rescue Drone
  • Department of Homeland Security FEMA (Region IV), Travis Potter – UAS Coordinator, Response Division I FEMA Region IV
  • Easy Aerial, Easy Aerial Smart Air Force Aerial Monitoring System
  • International Emergency Drone Organization, IEDO Best Drone Practices Report for Fire & Rescue Services
  • National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Drone Journalism Leadership Summit
  • San Diego Regional EDC, Katelyn McCauley – San Diego UAS Integration Pilot Program


From the news release:

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents corporations and professionals from more than 60 countries involved in industry, government, and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil, and commercial markets. For more information, visit

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