SIBU: The collaboration between University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) and its Taiwanese partners to tap into the opportunities and address challenges in drone technology should enable the local folk to remain relevant in the ever-changing work environment.
Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said the town and its people welcomed the move.
“I am glad to learn that UCTS and its Taiwanese partners, Chang Jung Christian University (CJCU) and GEOSAT Aerospace and Technology Inc are collaborating to address the opportunities and challenges in the area of drone technology.
“This is most significant in giving the chance to the Sibu people, especially our students at UCTS, to learn this high technology and advanced skills, in order to stay relevant in the ever-changing work environment,” said the Dudong assemblyman at the launch of Drone Research and Application Centre (DRAC) and drone seminar/workshop at UCTS campus here on Saturday.
DRAC is a venture between UCTS, Chang Jung Christian University and GEOSAT Aerospace and Technology Inc.
Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh officiated at the ceremony, witnessed by UCTS vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Abdul Hakim Juri, Chang Jung Christian University president Prof Lee Yung-Lung, and GEOSAT Aerospace and Technology Inc chairman Dr Lo Cheng-Fang.
Tiong added that the collaboration is also in line with the state’s drive into digital economy, pointing out that drone is one of the key technologies of the 21st century.
“They are being used in many innovative ways, from photography to search and rescue operations.”
He noted that drone application is also vital in image and signal processing, information retrieval and knowledge management, remote sensing and Geography Information System (GIS), as well as surveillance and reconnaissance,.
Moreover, he said the usage of drones is the logical step in making business more efficient.
The advancement in drone applications is beyond human imagination, affecting and transforming the society, both structurally and socially.
More organisations are already employing drones to perform tasks that usually take humans many hours to do. Thus, the exploitation of drone technology is crucial to humankind in the futuristic world.
“Drones can help to achieve these goals, as they can be used in a wide range of applications and functions in smart cities.
These applications include monitoring traffic flow to measuring and detecting floods and natural disasters by using wireless sensors.
“Furthermore, many opportunities for drones and their applications in smart cities will continue to increase at a fast pace,” said Tiong.
Turning to challenges in deploying drone technology, he said they could be classified into areas ranging from ethics and privacy to licensing and legislations.
Meanwhile, Lo said the objective of the DRAC is to educate future talents on the research and application of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cultivate an ecosystem for close cooperation among the government, universities and private enterprises.