[This is a sponsored post with MaGIC.]
Drones are multifaceted in how they appeal to both hobbyists and innovators. They can be used for filming, for commercial purposes like logistics or just for fun (drone racing, anyone?).
Drone-related functions and industries have greatly increased over the years, but one thing remains constant: there are rules and regulations that control or limit how or where these drones can be used.
So where can drone enthusiasts in Malaysia go to experiment, test and fully optimize what their drones are capable of?
When it comes to being a one-stop drone shop, Area 57 wants to leave no stone unturned. To understand the role and impact Area 57 hopes to play, we need to zoom out a bit to take a look at the bigger picture.
A key player to consider is the Technology Park Malaysia Corporation (TPM), innovation facilitator and technology enabler from Malaysia. Established by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance in 1996, it is now consolidating with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center (MaGIC) into a technology commercialization agency.
Who’s Who: TPM operates under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). As the national driver of innovation and technology, TPM operates and operates a 686-acre technology park campus in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. With its physical incubator and technology infrastructure, it is the only 4th generation incubator service provider to offer a full range of services locally.
An environment conducive to the growth of drone technology
Returning to Area 57, it’s an integrated 5-acre ecosystem with a research and commercialization center to accelerate drone technology innovations and talent development. It features facilities such as a 100-meter drone runway, a 300-square-meter drone network, drone simulation sites, prototype development manufacturing equipment, a service and maintenance workshop, and sees itself as a one-stop shop for drone communities.
The major objectives of Area 57 include the following:
- Increase the number of certified drone pilots, operators and technicians
- Increase the number of homemade drone products
- Creation of jobs for pilots, operators, developers, trainers and technicians
- Cost reduction in drone services and maintenance
Since its launch in September, drone players have already had a chance to experience what the initiative has to offer. One of them is VStream revolution, a company specializing in providing drone solutions for industrial and commercial use.
They listed the benefits they experienced as follows:
- Position: “The most convenient place for a drone operator to conduct flight testing, proof of concept, training and other research and development.”
- Structures: “[It] has an incubator, innovation and business center. “
- Collaboration opportunities: “Other agencies, such as MIMOS, and universities, such as APU, are within Area 57.”
Saravanan Chettiar, CEO of VStream Revolution, said that by leveraging the resources of Area 57, they were able to conduct assessments to confirm the airworthiness of the drone and the proficiency of the pilot. After that first experience, they started using Area 57 for all of their training.
GeoPrecision technology had a similar positive encounter. Their work focuses on mapping, soil survey, resource labeling and resource mapping. One noteworthy project they have been working on is the tree inventory and volume estimate for the Sarawak Forest Corporation. They found Area 57 very useful for carrying out further field tests while networking.
The company’s chief executive, Izwan, shared, “Indeed, we were the ones who prepared the initial Area 57 proposal document for submission to the Malaysian Civil Aviation Authority. We were part of the initial task force for Area 57 and one of the pioneers of this initiative ».
Terra Drone currently focuses on solutions for infrastructure inspections, mapping and image analysis, according to industrial requirements.
Upon entering Area 57, Izwan believes that “participants will have access to support in the development and production of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAS) drones and systems”.
Area 57 has and will continue to offer many startups and enthusiasts the opportunity to transform their businesses and drone technology.
We have already seen a local drone supplier, Aerodyne gain international recognition such as the first-rate remote sensing company Worldwide. They are currently serving as consultants in Area 57 to help promote further growth in the local ecosystem.
With more testing and certification facilities and equipment to be set up in the near future, Area 57 is poised to play a vital role in developing the drone community here.
- Find out more about MaGIC here, TPM hereand Area 57 here.
- Read what we have written about MaGIC in the past here.
Featured image credit: MaGIC