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‘Made In Senegal’ Drones Made With Broken Refrigerators, With Blacksmith’s Help

Mamadou Wade Diop has been working with drones both in the photography and health sectors for years, now, he decided to work with local blacksmiths and construct a drone made in Senegal

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Drone, Senegal, Africa, Innovation, Waste
Not all materials necessary to make the drone are available in Senegal, but Diop says he wants to prove that it’s possible to make this technology right here in his home country. VOA

Mamadou Wade Diop has been working with drones both in the photography and health sectors for years. But recently, he decided to work with local blacksmiths and construct a drone made entirely in Senegal.

Mamadou Wade Diop, who calls himself Dr. Drone on social media, is one of the few people, if not the only person in the Dakar area who can fix broken drones.

But recently, he’s taken his knowledge a step further, consulting with drone makers across the world on how to construct one of his own.

Diop says that through the internet, he’s been able to communicate with other drone makers in France and China to chat about their experiences.

Though he does a lot of work in the audio-visual sector, renting his services out to news and documentary crews as well as collecting drone footage of various places in Senegal to sell, the purpose of his first Made-In-Senegal drone will be in the health sector – a drone that can spread chemicals to prevent mosquito breeding in stagnant water.

Drone, Senegal, Africa, Innovation, Waste
Diop says that through the internet, he’s been able to communicate with other drone makers in France and China to chat about their experiences. Wikimedia Commons

Not all materials necessary to make the drone are available in Senegal, but Diop says he wants to prove that it’s possible to make this technology right here in his home country.

Diop says that carbon fiber isn’t available in Senegal. Though he ordered it from China, he worked with local blacksmiths to shape pieces for his drone. And as for local materials, he was able to recycle a piece of aluminum from a broken refrigerator to form part of the body of his drone.

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Mamadou Diallo is an owner of a photography shop who often collaborates with Diop.

Diallo says that the demand for drones in Senegal is not high but is increasing, though there is not yet enough of a market.

But he supports Diop, who says that if they don’t start making their own drones now, foreign companies will come in and begin to sell them at much higher prices. (VOA)

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Friendly Regulation Policies Can Boost Up Drone Manufacturing in India, Says DFI

It is a tool that is going to impact lot of industries as a whole

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Drone
Unlike other countries, India has a very stringent drone policy. Pixabay

Indian drone manufacturers have all the ingredients to be at par with the world in developing top-of-the-line unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) but unfortunately, lack of friendly regulations have kept the industry away from a perfect take-off to date, Rahat Kulshreshtha, President of the Drone Federation of India (DFI), a non-profit industry body, said here on Monday.

Unlike other countries, India has a very stringent drone policy. “We have seen in a bit of derailment with the timeline because regulations are not yet ready for the drone industry, which, frankly, is a complicated thing to work on,” Kulshreshtha told IANS on the sidelines of the ‘Drone Festival of India 2020’ here.

“Regulations have slowed down the industry as investors have been wary of infusing funds into the startups to date.

“We are running slightly slow on the timeline at the momentum but today, we have got good commitment from Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri that the government is working on the regulations and would solve it together with the relevant stakeholders,” Kulshreshtha noted.

IANS reported last week that India will soon conduct ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight’ (BVLOS) test flights of drone systems for the creation of last-mile air delivery connectivity in the country.

On Monday, Puri confirmed this, saying that the experiments to study the operations of commercial drones which operate beyond the BVLOS range would be carried out in January. Unlike the reported figure of 40, India currently has nearly 100 drone startups and the autonomous drone aviation industry has great potential ahead, said Kulshreshtha.

“Once the regulations open up, the skies open up. We are working on the policy front with the regulators and are a bridge between the drone industry and the regulators, aiming to build a safer and scalable autonomous drone aviation industry in India,” the DFI president elaborated.

Drone
Indian drone manufacturers have all the ingredients to be at par with the world in developing top-of-the-line unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) but unfortunately, lack of friendly regulations have kept the industry away from a perfect take-off to date. Pixabay

The civil aviation ministry made public the draft note for Drone policy 2.0 last year, focusing on BVLOS operations. The draft Drone Policy 2.0 mandates a ‘privacy by design’ standard. According to Kulshreshtha, there are nearly 300 drone use cases in India and since it is a new technology, only the time would tell which use case would pick up pace faster.

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“The standard assumption is that we are an agrarian economy so agriculture might pick up well. But we are talking about a technology that is going to impact every single industry — logistics, roads, railways, GIS (geographic information system), mapping, entertainment, sports and so on,” Kulshreshtha told IANS.

“It is a tool that is going to impact lot of industries as a whole,” he added. (IANS)