The Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) collaborated with the Malaysian Autonomous Intelligence & Robotics Association (MyAIRA), Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA), the Expertise Resource Association (ERA), Invest Selangor and the Embassy of Chile in Malaysia to organise a webinar on drones, titled “Opportunities in the Drone Industry” on 13 October 2021.
Over 100 participants from various business sectors and countries including Malaysia, Chile, Japan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Singapore and Turkey registered for this event.
The drone industry growth has been steadily rising in the last few years. It is estimated that by the year 2025, the drone services market size will be expected to grow to US$63.6 billion (Business Insider, 2021).
Drones as a tool, is gaining momentum not just among hobbyists, but also professionals looking to integrate drones into their organization’s workflow. This is because the drones’ ability to fly unmanned and even fully autonomously allows them to perform certain labour-intensive tasks much cheaper, faster and, safer than any human can.
Drone technology can be applied across multiple sectors and can be engaged in agriculture, construction, security, surveying, marketing, photography & videography, and many more.
This webinar discussed the uses of autonomous drone technology, potential for talent development in the drone industry and opportunities abroad – with the country of Chile as the case study.
The webinar programme was as follows:
The webinar began with welcoming addresses from the leadership of MASSA-MAJECA and MyAIRA, followed by the Ambassador of Chile.
Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President, Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA) & Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA), delivering his welcome address.
Mr Yong Chong Soon, President, Malaysian Autonomous Intelligence & Robotics Association (MyAIRA), giving his welcome address.
H.E. Diego Velasco-von Pilgrimm, Ambassador of Chile to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, giving his welcome address and announcing the signing of an MoU between APANT Chile and MyAIRA.
Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive, Malaysian South-South Association (MASSA) and the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) was the emcee of the webinar.
Mr Jamie Haniff bin Ramlee, the Director of Selangor Darul Ehsan Aerospace Industry Coordination Office (S-DAICO) Division, Invest Selangor (pic below) moderated the panel comprising of experts in the drone industry.
The panelists were as follows:
Dr Shian Lee, CEO, Alphaswift Sdn Bhd
Mr Amsyar Faiz, Director of Business Development, OFO Tech Sdn Bhd
Mr Iván Araos Mansilla, Head of External Affairs, Association of Pilots of Unmanned Aircraft (APANT), Chile
Following the presentations by the speakers, the webinar proceeded to a panel discussion-cum-Q & A session led once more by Mr Jamie Haniff bin Ramlee.
The panelists discussed the following:
• Dr Shian Lee’s presentation highlighted the possible uses of autonomous drones in various settings, and how drones can be easily adapted to suit the needs of their user. He addressed problems such as the shortage of manpower, the dangers of lofty infrastructure inspection as well as transportation difficulties to deliver humanitarian aid. He emphasized that drones like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) can be the solution to these problems. He also introduced several types of drones and their uses such as unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that implement adaptive nozzles for crop-spraying, delivery UAVs for food delivery services, 3D-mapping drones and many more.
• Mr Amsyar Faiz showcased combination of IR4.0 solutions, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data analytics, drones, remote sensors, Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and Industrial IoT technologies that can be applied in various sectors. The data captured by drones equipped with thermal sensor can be processed with the help of AI and AR/VR to output information with high precision in both 2D and 3D images. This can be utilized in scaling accurate measurements, track task compliance, crop performance, topography etc.
• Mr Iván Araos, the Head of External Affairs of Association of Pilots of Unmanned Aircraft (APANT), gave a report on the status of investment in cutting-edge drone technologies in Chile and the Latin American region. He highlighted how data processing drones and 5G can contribute success in the field of agriculture, mining, space exploration, and many more. He also reported that APANT is currently developing effective air-safety drones that can protect the citizens’ privacy as well as minimizing the environmental impact. APANT is also looking at implementing drones in its Smart Cities’ ecosystem, such as in telecommunications, aerotaxi, entertainment, healthcare, traffic etc. Mr Iván then highlighted the challenges on how to legalise the usage of these unmanned machines going forward. They are now working closely with the Government of Chile to implement a flexible regulatory framework for piloting aerial drones to ensure smooth development in this unmanned aircraft sector
Major Surenthiran Krishnan (pic above), from MyAIRA and Head of Training Wing for Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers in Army Institute of Communication and Electronics in Malaysian Armed Forces, wrapped up the webinar with his closing remarks highlighting:
• The drone industry continues to grow over the years. The hardware and software in manufacturing these drones are becoming more affordable, and will be more evidently prevalently used across all sectors. The opportunities offered by drones can be a future economic growth driver.
• The deployment of drones is vital in addressing shortage of manpower such as in smart-farming, dangerous and expensive infrastructure inspections as well as challenging deliveries for humanitarian emergency aid. The drone data capture can be processed into various data outputs, including but not limited to orthomosaics/point cloud/reality mesh/ augmented reality etc. and these outputs can be used for various applications in different sectors.
• The importance of developing and adhering to the standards and regulations set by the government in piloting these aircraft drones. It is also important that managers and operators of these aerial drones must be competent, responsible and well-trained to perform their tasks.