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High-Technology Drones to be Deployed for Flood Recovery and Critical Supplies Delivery Efforts

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The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) through Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) will be mobilising several Malaysian drone companies to assist with relief efforts in flood-affected areas across the country.

A Special Drone Services Emergency Task Force (PTK2Dron) has been set up by MOSTI with TPM as the central co-ordinating agency.

MOSTI Minister YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Adham Baba said, “Drones can offer vital aerial and visual communications, allowing supporting agencies to accurately assess the situation on ground and connect with those stranded without access to communications networks. The high technology drones can deliver emergency services and essential supplies – including food and medicines – to flood victims – especially in unreached areas.”

TPM is collaborating with VStream, Alphaswift Industries Sdn Bhd, Aerodyne Group Sdn Bhd, Meraque Services Sdn Bhd, Geo Precision Tech and the Malaysia Unmanned Drone Activist Society (MUDAS) to fulfil these services.

Aerodye Group assisted flood relief efforts in Selangor. “We deployed tactical drones to harness critical information such as directional water flow, as well as to identify, reach and rescue stranded flood victims, and develop effective evacuation plans – including prioritising rescue routes, especially in worst-hit areas. In this, we also identified factors contributing to the slow receding of water levels due to blocked water passages,” said Kamarul A Mohamed, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aerodyne Group.

Up to 500 acres in several locations in Selangor have been surveyed by drones, which have also been used to deploy emergency supplies.

“Meraque together with Pharmaniaga is collaborating to extend our assistance especially in delivering medicines or critical items,” said Razali Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Meraque. The company recently completed a proof-of-concept which involved the delivery of medical supplies from mainland Perak to Pangkor Island for an emergency medical treatment, as part of its readiness to deliver essentials to flood-affected areas.

“We want to support those in the front line of duty in the rescue and relief work. Through the Special Task Force, we have been accelerating the work to connect drone operators and service providers with the relevant authorities in charge of relief, rescue and recovery operations – as well as to ensure safety and technical standards are met,” said Dzuleira Abu Bakar, Chief Executive Officer, Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) which has been appointed as MOSTI’s lead coordinating agency for this effort.

MOSTI is also collaborating with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), National Security Council (NSC), National Disaster Relief Management Agency (NADMA), the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) Secretariat members and Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA). Through the Special Taskforce, some 20 units of drones are ready to be deployed for surveillance and to supply essentials with payloads of up to 10 kilogrammes per delivery, upon approval from the authorities.

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