In the late eighties, very few people had heard of the internet, and even fewer could appreciate the impact it was about to have on every day’s activities.
Similarly, drones are still fairly new to the public to date, and even unheard of in most of the African continent.
However, thanks to their robotic capabilities, it is very likely that they will infiltrate just about every aspect of life as we know it; from simple household duties such as monitoring a toddler to more complex endeavours such as autonomous parcels’ delivery.
The technology to implement sophisticated drones is already available, but just like in the days when the internet had just appeared, it is taking some time for the general public and the government to embrace these ideas. But as soon as they do, it will be like a chain explosion that will result in a meaningful invasion of drones in almost all, if not all, aspects of our lives. It is almost safe to state that, “In the near future, everyone will have some drone extension of themselves somewhere.”
Many Africans, particularly those living in remote areas, have not benefited from many of the new technological advances simply because, in most instances, novel technological tools require a certain level of development in infrastructure in order to be implemented.
For example, the GPS navigator is completely useless in certain places in South Africa because there are no legitimate roads. But unlike the GPS navigator and many other technological tools, drones are among those advances in technology that are not limited by infrastructure levels, countries capabilities, and so forth.
Drone technology can easily be implemented anywhere, even in the most remote place to solve various problems. It is among the rare technologies to be at the grasp of all Africans regardless of who they are or what their geographical location is. In fact, it would not be surprising to observe that, in the near future, some of the most remarkable advancements on drone technology would actually have been made by Africans.
“Being involved in the drone industry at this time is like being involved with the internet in 1995. It is the next big thing!” says Jules Ntumba, UAV Engineer at Aero247.
The relevance of drones in modern society cannot be overemphasized, and as they draw more and more attention from the general public, industries and the government with investments of the order of a few billions of Rand, it is now the perfect time for those who wish to stay ahead of the curve to acquire more detailed knowledge on the subject. Aero247, which is an aeronautics company in Sandton that specializes in UAVs, has endeavoured to set up a training program for those who wish to have a more than basic comprehension of the subject with hands-on applications.
The training course entails notions such as: basic aerodynamic principles, control schemes used in aeroplanes and helicopters, multirotor drone dynamics, multirotor drone components, and so much more.
Children are also not spared in this 4th industrial revolution and the company conducts drone technology camps and workshops every school holiday were children from Grades 3 to 11 are exposed to the technology through drone building exercises, coding, 3D printing, flying etc thereby stimulating their interest in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
Blessing Ngorima, Aero247 Founder and BizNis Africa Columnist