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Let’s build drones

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   June 12, 2019
PIC: Avery Sebolt during the training
The Polytechnic has received engineers from Virginia Tech University, United States of America, under the invitation of the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology graduate Dumisani Kaliati.

The Engineers are training students in aircraft engineering, robotics and systems control, plus drone making and piloting.

 According to Kaliati who is the Director of Micromek Company; the project knowns as Flying Things, which started on Thursday, 6th June at the Polytechnic Design Studio, aims at training students from different colleges around Blantyre.

 “The whole purpose is to build capacity for operations and building of low cost drones in Malawi. These will be used in delivering health facilities and environmental monitoring in disaster management like droughts and floods,” Kaliati explained.

 He further said that after training students at Polytechnic in building drones, the team would travel to MUST to engage students about Data science and train them in drone data analysis.

 The team comprises of Avery Sebolt, a student in aerospace engineer who has also two years experience in aircraft design. He is handling the production of Eco soar aircrafts. The other one is Robert Headman who is a graduate student in robotics and systems control, responsible for drone piloting.

 One of the participants Chimwemwe Kunje who studied Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering explained that she was fascinated to know more about drones and how they are to be used in the medical sector.

 “I have learned a lot because I only knew drones as automated vehicles used in taking pictures, videos but having learned that they will be used to transfer blood samples in the disaster prone area, I felt that I should be a part of this,” Kunje explained.

 Kunje further expounded that she was excited to start designing drones from the scratch using locally found materials. She further encouraged students to patronize such workshops.  

 One of the local aircraft built previously had a perfect test at MUST for a successful thirty minutes.

 Upon completion of the training the team will travel to Kasungu drone corridor for testing then meet prospective entrepreneurs in Lilongwe


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