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Drone Tech has Bright Future in Taiwan

Modern computer technology in business illustration with wireless device

The Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) commissioned a metal company to host the 2021 Future of Drone Industry MOU signing and forum at the NTUH International Convention Center. This is to unveil the drones that can withstand the wind and rain with a Beaufort Scale of 7. The metal company signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Taiwan Drone Association, Taiwan UAS Development Association, and other tech companies during the event to expand the application of drones.

The metal company hopes that through the forum and memorandum, manufacturers in Taiwan can join together to create application scenarios for different industries. Moreover, they aim to strengthen Taiwan’s core competitiveness in the drone industry and the expansion of niche markets through industry-academia-research collaboration.

At the symposium, government officials and tech experts also exchanged views on the development of the domestic drone industry. They put forward suggestions from the aspects of bidding system, type inspection, market gaps, technological development and field environment. In the future, cooperation will be carried out on linking drones with innovation, innovative applications, and technology research and development.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) invested in the development of domestic drone technology with a technology development program. They move in the direction of high load, long-endurance, and innovative applications. Currently, the domestic industry’s average maximum load is about 15 kg. The program’s technology has reached a load of 35 kg and endurance increased from 40 minutes to more than 180 minutes.

Director-General of DoIT said that in addition to continuously developing high-load and long-endurance drone technology in the future, DoIT will also combine the advantages of high 5G bandwidth, low-latency, and large connectivity strengths. They aim to provide overall solutions for the industry to help promote the application of drones in various fields faster, starting from pesticide spraying, courier logistics, fishing boat operation support, disaster relief, etc.

Drone-related technology can be used for a multitude of purposes, such as inspecting wind turbines without stopping operations. Currently, the market lacks highly stable and weather-resistant drones. The drones developed in collaboration with the industry are the first domestic drones to be used in fishery operations. With extremely fast airframe control software technology, the drones can perform even in the wind and rain with a Beaufort scale of 7.

Moreover, through the active take-off and landing system, the drones can take off and land smoothly on ships at sea. The use of fast frequency hopping anti-interference technology can reduce frequency interference during fish exploration so that images can be sent back successfully.

Applications of Drones in Taiwan’s Agriculture

Taiwan utilised drone technology to create a new flight path for smart agriculture in Southeast Asia.

Taiwan has successfully used drones to control rice blast by detecting diseased rice plants so that pesticides could be precisely applied, preventing a potential rice blast epidemic. Drones can also detect the fall armyworm, which damages corn. Taiwan’s tech company installed multi-spectrometers on drones and used remote sensing technology to detect abnormalities in the chlorophyll in the corn leaves. Drones would immediately spray pesticides to treat the plants.

Applications of drones in smart agriculture can also be enhanced with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Rapid processors and AI’s in-depth learning can quickly detect disease in crops remotely, from the air. If symptoms are found, the drones spray chemicals on the affected plants. When they encounter healthy plants, the sprays are shut off and the drones fly on.

This kind of smart recognition technology can be of great value in Southeast Asia, with its vast tracts of tropical jungle. Drones can keep their sprays turned off while flying over the forest canopy, activating them only after reaching the target zone. Precision opera­tions and calculations are all performed by the drone, with no need to send images back to base.

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