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Joint venture to boost drone tech in Thailand

Image Credits: The Nation, Thailand, News Article

The Thai Advance Innovation Co Ltd (Thai AI), a subsidiary of a major local satellite operator, signed a shareholders agreement with AI and Robotics Ventures (ARV), a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), to collaborate on the development of drone technology.

The initial phase of the partnership focuses on drones for smart farming solutions to strengthen Thailand’s agricultural sector.

The two companies are establishing ATi Technologies Co Ltd to develop the drones with registered capital of THB20 million.

Thai AI and ARV will each hold a 50 per cent stake in the new firm. Under the agreement, ATi Technologies will develop advanced drone technology, helping farmers improve agricultural productivity and addressing development challenges in Thailand’s agricultural sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of the satellite operator stated that ARV is an important strategic partner for Thai AI. In November last year, Thai AI and ARV signed an agreement to cooperate on drone development for agricultural use.

The joint venture marks a big step forward to leverage advanced solutions and a full range of drone technology-enabled innovative agricultural services, and enhance the capability of drone technology in Thailand.

The General Manager of ARV noted that the collaboration with the operator is a cornerstone of the firm’s partnership strategy for business growth.

The new company will develop drone solutions and conduct research for a wide variety of applications including data analytics and digital farming, as well as work together with companies in the agricultural industry.

The company will also explore future drone-related opportunities to help drive the Thai economy with innovation.

Making Thailand ASEAN’s digital hub

The Government of Thailand has lined up two major projects that will hopefully help it achieve the goal of becoming a digital hub in ASEAN.

A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite business is being funded through an amendment to the Space Affairs Act and the country is expanding its submarine cable capacity to make it more efficient for Thais to access digital infrastructure at an affordable price, according to the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister.

At a recent forum, he noted that LEO satellites operate between 500- 2,000 kilometres above the Earth’s surface compared to the 36,000km height of so-called geostationary satellites, the traditional types of communications satellites.

The advantage of the lower orbit is lower latency. It will benefit everyone with access to high-speed internet services via 5G technology, IoT [Internet of Things] devices, M2M [Machine to Machine] technology.

Other advantages include drone technology and applications in areas that require high levels of accuracy, such as remote surgery, and LEO satellite systems are ideal to power these applications due to their low latency.

The government realised the necessity for 5G tech innovation and a major Chinese tech giant has helped by providing Covid-19 diagnosis services at Siriraj and Ramathibodi hospitals with 96% accuracy. The Minister stated, “reshaping the economy requires partnership from the public and private sectors.”

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