Here in Malaysia, drones are no longer a form of technology that is only accessible to a few people. As more and more drones become available for commercial use, we have seen its popularity rise in photography and videography. However, beyond its commercial use as a tool for aerial filming and photography, drones are especially useful in other industries.
The drone’s light body, easy use and ability to capture information from heights makes it the perfect data collection instrument as well as help solve issues in certain industries. In Malaysia, Poladrone saw this gap in the market when drone technology became popular and pushed their company to bridge that gap by providing industrial solutions using drones. One of the ways their drones function in the agricultural sector is by attaching not just cameras, but also sensors that could capture important data such as the crops’ health, temperature of livestock and the height of crops by using LIDAR, a remote sensing technology. Other than collecting data through sensors, Poladrone assists their agricultural clients by providing surveillance services and also equipment for spraying fertilisers or pesticides.
Drones can be either a drone enthusiast’s go-to toy or even military-grade equipment for surveillance and national security. Average Drones, a local firm that has been around for half a decade has customers from both the segments. Providing military-grade drones to our armed forces and police departments, Average Drones specializes in Vertical Take Off Landing (VTOL) drones that requires very little runway before takeoff and during landing. In addition to being the first Malaysian company to utilize VTOL drones, Average Drones also provides drone units to hobbyists and students researching drone technology/applications for their final year projects.
Another Malaysian company called Aerodyne provides drone-based integrated solutions to their clients in various ways. Aside from agriculture, they provide turnkey solutions that improves productivity while being cost effective to other industries. For example, their drones enable inspection and asset management of heavy infrastructures such as powerlines, transmission towers and fuel plants while minimising the risk that comes with manual inspections. Drone based solution does not only benefit industries. In the case of emergencies, Aerodyne has been one of the pioneers in offering integrated support through drone technology to emergency responders. In high risk situations, this technology has provided early damage assessment that allows for more efficient strategising of evacuation and mitigation alongside accurate and live broadcast feed of the situation.
If you have ever wondered how miles and miles of highway roads are mapped and monitored regularly, the answer is simple: drones! Drones are more flexible and easier to utilize in a variety of ways compared to the use of satellite mapping. OFO Tech is one of the pioneers of this technique of mapping and monitoring highways in Malaysia. To date, they’ve covered over 15,000 kilometres of Malaysian highways and continues to monitor them through their drones.
Jin Xin from Poladrone agrees that the potential of drone technology is limitless in Malaysia. However, one of the challenges it needs to overcome to reach that is the segmentation of the drone industry that stunts its development. It is true that the technology is now more accessible than ever commercially, it has a long way to go to ensure a comprehensive growth and integration of drone technology. Companies such as Poladrone and Aerodyne could benefit by coming together to push the industry’s impressive capabilities even further and grow into the ever expanding tech industry in Malaysia.
What about drones that are able to run indefinitely and independent of human interaction? Could such a paradigm shift in DroneTech innovation be possible in the future? Actually, it’s already a reality as of today! FourFang has been building their own drones from scratch in Malaysia, capable of a longer average battery life than the current 20 minutes. They have made a breakthrough and will continue to disrupt the industry with drones that are stronger, more independent and comprehensive in its features.
In the future, Drone Tech would be an integral part of how society function in many different sectors including defense, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, logistics and consumer use. For example, DJI Innovations which is leading conservation efforts of natural flora and fauna without physical presence on the ground via the use of drones. The Malaysian Armed Forces is also researching further utilization of drones to protect the country’s border and we can expect to see intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance activities (ISTAR) carried out in the future with full utilization of Drone Tech.
Keen to find out more about how drones can be used in a myriad of other industries? Happening on 17th of June 2019 at Futurise, Cyberjaya, MyDroneX is the event to be at for all things related to drones in Malaysia! Featuring demonstrations of drone use in stunt filming for the latest local blockbluster PASKAL as well as firefighting, the expo engages all stakeholders and enthusiasts in Malaysia. Register now at https://mydronex.com