Goran Stefkovski on Drones: The Epic Impact of Small
"Today I get to talk to you about something I am passionate about outside of my work. And that's drones"
Goran Stefkovski, CTO of Kogan.com.au, was excited to speak to Sydstart about the potential of drones.
Goran’s distinctive and engaging session highlighted the power of drones and their use in several industries.
A Rhinoceros Issue
Goran spoke of poaching rhino horns, a glaring environmental issue prevalent in South Africa. With one rhinoceros poached every 8 hours, the urgency to put a stop to the crisis is more crucial than ever.
Drones come into play in this situation as it can help search and patrol for poachers. This way, people can autonomously detect and report civilians involved.
Waakoor is a brand of drone that gives park rangers “an eye in the sky”.
Using it is fairly simple. Park rangers will need a tablet where they can draw out the circular path for the drone to roam and then launch it. While in the air, the drone will process the images it receives, and when it finds something of interest it will then notify the park rangers.
Drones Making Deliveries
Goran shifted the topic on a lighter note and asked, “Will drones deliver online shopping?”. That’s a possibility. Drones are faster because there’s no air traffic and there’s no downtime, too.
The idea is largely appealing but some problems cannot be dismissed.
Some questions we need answered include how much can one drone carry and for how long can it sustain the weight? What also happens when a drone malfunctions or if it gets involved in an accident?
The calibration of drones for specific commercial and industrial purposes requires more research. How do you take the concept of online delivery via drones to full capacity?
How Consumers are Using Drones Today
Consumer behavior drives the functionality of drones today. Goran explained, “Drones have this amazing ability for us to get a new perspective on things and a lot of hobbyists and consumers, videographers, have taken that, embraced it and made stunning videos.”
Currently, most people use drones to capture moments like weddings and birthdays, and even selfies. Other uses prove more promising for travel documentaries, for entertainment (such as music videos and movies), and for business purposes (such as corporate events or real estate showcases).
While these are the point blank capabilities of the technology, Goran asserted that there’s simply so much more to drones.
Surveying and Agriculture
On a similar note raised earlier on environmental protection, drones are useful for the agriculture industry as well. While drones can patrol areas for poachers, they can also be used to survey acres of land and detect harvest ready for picking. In addition, they can help detect water density.
Drones are also used in FPV (first-person view) racing. It’s thrilling to see footages from extreme angles, and not just slow, conventional shots. This shows how the use of drones for video coverage can be far more than the ordinary.
Facebook is so powerful they’ve got their own Internet drones. The solar-powered machine has wings with the same span of a 737. Once it goes up in space, it’s designed to fly there for a very long time and provide infinite connectivity.
The Cusp of Innovation
Goran pointed out that we are at the cusp of innovation. He went on to explain how the use of television transitioned from the mere act of people speaking into the camera, to using our imaginations to create films and shows which are part and parcel of the entertainment industry today.
He said that it’s a similar story with the Internet, wherein the new medium is mainly used to share information. “When the Internet first came out, we really didn’t understand that medium -- not until 10 years later when we discovered e-commerce,” he stated. This reality encourages us to dig deeper on the impact of new and emerging technology.
Goran ended his speaker session with some food for thought inspired by the late tech giant Steve Jobs. He asked the audience: “Who will be the Steve Jobs of drones that comes through this stage in 10 years’ time with the idea that really captures what drones are all about -- something that we don’t know today?”
Goran gave the audience a challenge -- to think about how they can apply their entrepreneurial skills, and discover something greater than the ordinary.