Exploring The Latest Drone Technology


Interview with Mr. Ricky Kisworo, drone practitioner. 

Drones have been around for more than two decades, but their roots date back to World War I when both the U.S. and France worked on developing automatic, unmanned airplanes. But the last few years have been significant in terms of drone adoption, usage expansion across industries, and global awareness. From technically manning sensitive military areas to luring hobbyists throughout the world, drone technology has developed and prospered in the last few years. Individuals, commercial entities, and governments have come to realize that drones have multiple uses.

ARKdesign Quarterly (AQ): Based on your experienced as drone practitioner, what do you think about drone technology nowadays? Do you have any insight about the trends in drone industry? 


Ricky Kisworo (RK): Over the last few years the development of the drone industry is very rapid in almost all aspects of life causing the drone industry to become the central of many businesses.The development of commercial drone technology started about 5 years ago, where previously technology was only used by the government or military. Technological progress used by commercial drones also continue to grow for industrial purposes. With drone technology innovation especially in Indonesia, drones are used in air photography, for film making and journalism, geographical mapping and soil contours, precision plant mapping, building safety inspection, mining, oil and gas, high point density for modeling and location, utility infrastructure, high accuracy measurement of ground. 

AQ: What kind of drone that you used for AQ Dulux Invitational 2017? And what are the advantages of this type than the others version? 

RK: When we covered AQ Dulux Invitation 2017, we used two product drone units from DJI with Phantom 4 pro type, the advantage of this type compared to other type is that Phanton 4 Pro drone is a professional drone where the photos and video are very good for shooting, making video or movie and the form is quite compact and not too big to carry, only 1388 g weight. Advantages of Phantom 4 Pro drone are the capacity of the camera is like a DLSR camera. It has been using stabilization 3 axis gimbal, 1“CMOS censor, 20M effective pixels, Max video bitrate 100 Mbps, 4K MP4/ MOV Video, 24mm Lens f2,8-11 auto focus, ISO range 100-12.800, Mechanical shutter speed 8 - 2.000 fps. With the ability of such cameras, it is almost the same with professional drones with a larger form, coupled with battery capacity enough to fly 30 minutes with one battery while the speed can reach 72 km/ h with a range of up to 7 km and a height of 500m. In addition, Phantom 4 Pro already has 5 sensors to detect obstacles and 4 sensors to detect obstacles on all four sides of the drone, and 1 sensor below to detect altitude makes the drone better protected from any obstacles around it. That’s why we chose phantom 4pro to cover AQ Dulux Invitation 2017.

AQ: What type of drone that the most difficult to operate? Is there any special treatment for the maintenance?

RK: For now, all the commercial drones are very easy to operate because it already has various sensors for the safety. Drones will connect with more than 9 satellites so that flying will be very stable and wherever on air, the drone will always be detected by the monitor even if loss of signal occurred on the fly, the drone will return to home automatically. Drone treatment is almost like a camera treatment that we always clean up after use, especially for battery maintenance that uses Lipo 5870mAh at capacity storage time should be in a position not more than 40%, besides extending the battery life, it is also safer for travel using aircraft.


AQ: Do you have any advice for drone user to keep their drone in durable conditions and how to overcome the difficulties in the field when operating this tool?

RK: Drone users shall consider the place for takeoff, where the takeoff position should be clean and free of dust as it might damage the drone, mechanical gimbal, and camera. In addition, the takeoff areas should be in the open place that is free of trees and buildings. For beginners, before using, they must read the manual correctly or ask for help agent/ drone store for setting up the drone also monitor phone, and update data software on drone and monitor control, to prevent drone accidents and crashes. Sometimes during drone operation, there are technical constraints that are not listed in the manual book, it can be consulted with the agency/ drone store or club drone or via the internet where many club drone with the same brand can discuss.

AQ: What are some challenges or hurdles to operate drones that still exist and how you overcome it?

RK: The challenge of operating a drone is how to fly drones, takeoffs and landing, horizontal and vertical movement, and looking for the right position for video or photo taking. Also have to know basic photography and videography techniques, where camera setting includes shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and diaphragm that can be done in the simultaneously as flying the drone by using monitor in radio control. The challenge of being a pilot drone is to fly a drone from a boat or a car that is fast walking or flying in the gap of trees or buildings with very windy conditions. For more professional drone like pilot drone, includes two pilots, one that flew drones and one that took photos or movies. So, to fly the drone you have to be a pilot and a photographer. One phrase to make you skilled at operating drones is by continuous training. 


AQ: How you picture drone industry in 5-10 years, any thought on the new inventions or latest technology that will develop? 

RK: In the next 5 or 10 years there will be a lot of inventions in the commercial drone industry, from being able to fly people, carrying drugs in an emergency, attracting people to sports, carrying photographic equipment, thermal sensors, laser scanners, and many others that are very helpful to human lives where drone technology is more simple and cheaper. The main obstacle in the commercial drone industry is the noise of a noisy blade, if this sound can be reduced by for example replacing propellers with a noise-reducing form or new technology without propeller at all, would be very useful. In addition, some new inventions for the upcoming drone technology are; resistance to rain or water, short drone flies due to battery capacity, large drone dimensions for carrying large dimensioned batteries, these are some of the obstacles that needs to be solved,