From a poor boy to drone manufacturer
VietNamNet Bridge – The boy who once picked up rubbish every day at the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in HCM City later received promises from eight leading universities in the US for a scholarship for a doctoral fellowship. He has since then turned his lifetime’s aspiration into reality with his daring startup project.
An expert in the robotics industry in the US, Dr Luong Viet Quoc, CEO of Real Time Robotics Inc, is the first investor to get a license to set up a drone manufacturing factory in HCMC. Quoc talked with Bizlive’s Kim Yen.
Could you please tell us how drones are used in real life?
In the past, drones, in people’s thoughts, meant the unmanned aerial vehicle controlled from a distance which bombed other countries. Now, drones can be utilized widely in many fields, from agriculture production and wind-power turbine maintenance to fire fighting, mining and afforestation.
An auditing firm estimates that the global drone service market may have value of $127 billion by 2020.
As for the US, the benefits brought by drones have exceeded the costs. A firm specializing in integrating images from drones has 50 clients using its services.
The situation of drones is just like the internet. Initially, we hesitated to approach the internet but now it is popular.
Vietnamese will certainly need Vietnam-made drones because the country has rich IT resources. We cannot use Chinese drones because of information security problems.
Shenzhen City in China alone has 300 drone manufacturing companies. How about Vietnam?
The problem is that the country’s leaders need to realize the importance of the development of drones which help reduce costs and enhance production in many fields.
Vietnam tends to be reluctant to try new things and technologies. This partially explains why Vietnam’s supporting industries remain weak.
Are there any existing problems in technologies and laws that need to be fixed?
The current 3G network infrastructure system can satisfy requirements.
Regarding laws, a circular of the Ministry of National Defence says if flying at the height of 50 meters or less and 5-7 kilometers from airports, a license from district military command is needed. If the height is over 50 meters, a license from provincial/municipal military command will be required.
Will your company provide drones at reasonable prices?
I think the reasonable prices of the drones to be used to spray chemicals should be less than $10,000. Tall fruit trees will need drones which can fly high to spray chemicals. The more sensors drones have, the more expensive they will be.
Could you please give details about the first drone manufacturing factory in Vietnam?
We have just received the investment license for a project which has initial investment capital of $13.5 million. We leased 9,000 square meters of land in Saigon High Tech Park.