Zambia Flying Labs changes hands

Zambia Flying Labs, the 23rd entity to be inducted into WeRobotics’s network of drone technology start-ups called Flying Labs – has moved house.

No, they are not moving out of Zambia – but after launching in the Southern African country under the banner of iDrone Services, the Zambia Flying Labs will now be operating under the aegis of the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia.

The reason is because iDrone Services is moving out of Zambia; and therefore, cannot renew the licence they got last year to carry out humanitarian operations under the name of Flying Labs.

“Flying Labs are local knowledge-hubs that are run entirely by local experts” explained WeRobotics in a statement announcing the transfer of the franchise. “Flying Labs are operating in nearly 30 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, all driven by local demand. Flying Labs joins the network through a franchising model (which you can learn more about here). Any local organisation that fulfils the criteria and is aligned with the network’s values and activities can apply for a Flying Labs in their country, or join an existing Flying Labs through an official partnership. Licenses are provided annually, with an extensive interviewing process for the first year, followed by a yearly evaluation with the Flying Labs for the renewal.”

And since iDrone Services are relocating out of Zambia, they cannot hold on to their licence.

Said WeRobotics; “iDrone coordinated Zambia Flying Labs for its first year. However, due to relocation, iDrone cannot renew their license to continue leading Zambia Flying Labs and so they are passing the torch on to the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia.

“Our sincere thanks go to Subi Thomas and iDrone Services for their excellent leadership and their efforts to contribute to the Power of Local for the first year of Zambia Flying Labs.”

The Flying Labs creator has the right of it; iDrone Services did a good job in the year they have been known as Zambia Flying Labs, bringing drone training to hearing impaired students and to various other training institutions across the country. As iDrone Services, the company has been offering drone-based technology to precision agriculture, survey and mapping, media, among other industries.

“Since its official launch last year, Zambia Flying Labs has been building local capacity through drone training, promoting STEM education, and creating awareness about the emerging opportunities from robotic and AI technologies in their country,” WeRobotics said. “Led by Subi Thomas, director of iDrone Services, Zambia Flying Labs partnered with the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia and iKAN Konsult to continuously improve their programs and solutions for meaningful socio-economic impact in their communities.”  

Now the task to take this humanitarian goodness further has been passed to The School of Engineering who, with its supporting partners, TerraVia Aerial Services and iCan Drone Solutions, passed WeRobotics’ yearly evaluation and re-application process.


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