Beyond Videography, a local company leveraging drone technology for development – News Room Guyana

By Kurt Campbell

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Commercial drone technology is still new to the world and more to Guyana, but even as interest continues to pique for its stimulating perspective in photography and videography, it promises to be a game-changer in the enterprise space.

In the future, more people and countries will use drone capabilities for reasons beyond videography – whether it is to scan drone urban areas or broadcast messages through drone loudspeakers.

In Guyana, a local company is set to revolutionize its use here and the country is keeping up with its global evolution.

“People are excited about this flying thing in the air,” said Brian Smith, Chief Pilot and Owner of the Dragonfly Geospatial as he tells the News Room his intention to leverage drone technology for national development.

Brian Smith, Chief Pilot and Owner of Dragonfly Geospatial

Given the use of technology for the rejection of some quarters of the Guyanese society and the fear that it will see it replace human activity, Smith sees its usefulness in every sector of the fast-paced developing economy.

He reasons that it has a more complementary relationship with people and development.

Smith, who is currently doing a Master’s in Natural Resource Management started his drone business in the early months of the COVID-9 pandemic.

“That happened when academics married my personal interest in drone technology,” he recalls.

With personal experience in drone photography, Smith’s business got off the ground by supporting the real estate sector, and conducting inspections for buyers and sellers both locally and abroad.

“… and it’s just blossomed, moving on into agriculture … and that’s how we started.”

The drone pilot said that although people love the drone perspective, the technology’s practicality can be exploited to advance sectors providing greater efficiency and accuracy at cheaper costs.

“[In real estate], drone technology has been able to give the seller a different perspective. It is no longer about that one property. You are able to show a potential buyer where the property is located, and how close it is to a roadway, or major shopping center and understand the value of the property’s purpose. From a buyer’s you can use drone technology to get a better analysis of things like the roof, “Smith explained.

Beyond real estate, Dragonfly Geospatial has also found a place in the agriculture sector that is already dominated by the use of drone technology; Smith acknowledges that there is competition here.

“We started off monitoring the production process … even with competition, we are looking to delve deeper with a focus on mapping and surveying. Guyana needs large farms to build out the economy and drone technology can play a vital role in helping the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission. “

Aside from real estate and agriculture, he sees a place for drone technology in national development planning and execution and monitoring of national projects.

“… now we have moved into inspection services which we believe is a growing demand with mega projects coming on stream like the Demerara Harbor Crossing, the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project and the Vreed-en-Hoop Shore Base,” he said. General Chat Chat Lounge

According to Smith, in order to ensure the integrity of such projects, traditionally, it would require harnessing, scaffolding and sending individuals on the ground to test structural integrity.

“Its hazardous work that requires trained personnel and a component of safety is involved … With drone technology you can work faster and eliminate the human element while assuming safety.

“You make sure people get value for money … Address the challenge to put humans’ tight spaces to inspect with no light or visibility. Drones are the solution to that problem. “

The businessman warns, however, that drones must never be seen as a replacement but rather a complement to human involvement.

“There will always be a need for humans. A pilot is in command of these drones. Drone technology allows us to more precise, work more accurately, drone goes into hard-to-reach areas and gets data that allows you to do analysis. It is to support us rather than replace us, “he said as he added his voice to the global debate on technology replacing humans.

Smith said despite the possibilities, there has been some push back but he is encouraged by some government agencies such as the Ministry of Housing and Water which has invested in drone technology to monitor housing development.

“People are still accustomed to doing things the old way.

“… once the government gets everyone involved, the number and the number of people involved will definitely increase.”

Smith acknowledged that with civilians being able to access the technology it has become a challenge for the Civil Aviation Authority which has sought to regularize its use of its issuance of licenses.

It supports the necessary security clearance attaching to existing robust processes.

“It’s important and important that we have safety first and we comply with the rules and regulations to enjoy shared airspace,” he added.

Asked where he is headed with the business, Smith said “I am excited.”

“The next step is for us to go into more technical work … coastal zone management, monitoring water conservancy, monitoring natural resources and monitoring infrastructure projects to ensure government and citizens get value for money.”

“We want to provide results for both private and government.”

Smith is more than encouraged by the operators who exist, licensed and unlicensed, and believes it will get people and agencies on board.

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