Friday bits from around the world

Morning, one and all.

Just a few bits and pieces on the drone front this morning, before you dash off your rest of the day.

Our biggest titbit this morning comes from Niger, where Aziz Kountche’s Drone Africa Service has released a new, made-in-Niger industrial drone, the T-250 IRIS industrial drone.

“Every day, we push the boundaries of the impossible,” the company said announcing the drone’s arrival. “Our new project finally saw the light of day. the T-250 IRIS drone is here! A flagship of Nigerien know-how.”

We are waiting for more information about the full specifications of this new baby and what it can do. But while we do, congratulations go to Mr Kountche and his team at Drone Africa Service for their innovation.

The start-up has been building drones for use in various industrial and humanitarian applications in the country, which included survey missions for the United Nations

In South Africa, coal producers are said to be scrambling to contain theft of their energy-giving mineral resource, to the extent that they have called in the services of drones to help ensure the safety of staff and mines.

“We’re flying drones almost every night at every operation” to provide security, Seriti Resources Holdings Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Mike Teke said lastTuesday.

The drones might be welcome, but coal thefts are something South Africa can ill-afford right now, what with the country’s state-owned power producer, Eskom, struggling to fully light up the nation. An employee at the parastatal also confirmed that it was “losing a significant amount of coal to theft”; hence, it was prioritising security at sites.

There is not information of how much coal has been stolen as of now, but you know the problem must be really serious if drones have to carry out nightly surveillance.

We hope they work.

To Windhoek now, and the country’s police force was happy to receive a DJI Matrice 300 drone from the United Nations Development Programme, which will help in fighting crime in the country.

The drone was handed to the Namibian Police Force’s Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, who said the it was essential to the force’s policing operations, and will contribute to the police effectiveness, to ensure that the country continues to remain safe.

“The drone’s agility and versatility make it ideal to easily operate over a given city, over rough terrains or areas covered by dense vegetation. So, it will indeed be the law enforcement eyes in the sky,” he added.

Ndeitunga said globally, the use of drones in areas of policing is rapidly advancing which makes it possible for law enforcement to make use of aerial view without having to dispatch helicopters which are costly to operate.

With this new baby, the Namibian drone fleet has doubled to two.

In China meanwhile, autonomous aerial vehicle technology provider EHang has announced that its new production facility in Yunfu city has finally started operations.

“As a new AAV production site of EHang, the Yunfu facility has total planned gross floor area of approximately 24,000 square meters,” Ehang says. “The site is equipped with a series of function areas across the whole production process from components manufacturing to aircraft assembling. It also includes a research and training centre.”

Investors have been invited to check the facilities on August 18.

Obviously, this is good news for the company, whose stock market value suffered a massive drop last year, following a damning report which discredited the company as just a sham out to rip off investor funds.

Ehang manufacturers fire-fighting drones, mid-range cargo drones, and is looking to be the leading producer of passenger drones in the world.


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