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Drone technology boosts rhino conservation

Raglan, New Zealand is home for a rhino conservation charity and an industrial drone company that have teamed up for a worthy cause.

During a trip to South Africa, the founder of Tusk and Horn Wildlife Trust witnessed how a drone was used to locate one of the critically endangered animals.

According to a recent report, drone technology could be extremely useful for conservation work, particularly if it could provide night vision to support security teams in patrolling reserves.

Unfortunately, the drone being used at that time did not have that capability as resources were limited.

Upon returning from South Africa, the founder approached Aeronavics for help.

The drone company was deeply moved by the gruesome imagery shown to them, of rhinos lying in pools of their own blood after having their horns hacked off by poachers.

Rhino horn is trafficked to Asia where it is erroneously believed to have healing powers.

There are thought to be less than 25,000 rhino left in the world, and if nothing changes, the species could become extinct in as little as 20 years.

After 18 months, the ‘Rhino Bavi’ prototype conservation drone was taken to South Africa for testing.

It is a quad rotor model which can fly for about 45 minutes and withstand the high winds common in the region where it will be deployed.

It can comfortably fly several kilometres without losing contact with the radio and video controls. Moreover, it carries normal and thermal cameras side-by-side.

It is designed specifically to help the anti-poaching units with security, to keep a night view eye in the sky. It is also being used to find and film the rhinos.

The system delivered is much more powerful and fit for purpose than smaller, cheaper mass-market drones, but this comes at a cost.

The next steps are to implement improvements to the prototype and work out how to deploy the technology on a wider scale. Funding will also be a challenge, as the drones cost around NZ$ 20,000 each.

The applications for the drone technology are endless, from capturing critical data for inspecting power lines to pest control, environmental management and precision agriculture practices.

In all of these areas, the company is trying to achieve a larger community.

It has a strong development focus, because they believe in the strategy of focusing on future technologies that can solve some of the bigger problems facing the world today.

These problems include precision agriculture practices, environmental management, climate change and infrastructure monitoring.

Callaghan Innovation’s Business Innovation Adviser for Transport and Logistics said that the agency and its predecessors have worked with the company for the past six years.

They have helped with funding for a number of projects aimed at improving drone capability.

The early years were concentrated on the platform performance, with latter years more about the integration of specialised role-equipment, sensors and the analysis of the data received.

Callaghan Innovation has also helped the company form valuable networks with other associated companies and suppliers.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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