Interview session with Dr. Jaysuman Bin Pusppanathan SITC, iHumEn, SKBSK, FE, UTM Young Scientist Network President of Southern Drone Club Johor.

What is the background to current day of drone technology?

I believe we are aware of the emergence of 4th industrial revolution (IR4.0) in the 21st century. IR4.0 is expected to change how we live, work, and communicate and most likely to change our quality of life. We’re in a transition phase towards something great to come in the very near future.

Dynamic Remotely Operated Navigation Equipment or more commonly known as DRONE has revolutionized the industries and, on its way, transforming from a deceptive to a disruptive piece of technology. Drones bridge the physical and digital world, maximizing and integrating several high-tech gadgets such as global positioning system (GPS), inertial measurement unit (IMU), digital cameras, wireless communication, and many more. Drone technology has managed to pull in these individual technology to its maximum usage in the air. Whether you call them Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Flying Robots, they have already broken through rigid traditional barriers in industries which otherwise seemed impenetrable by similar technological innovations.

As more and more businesses started to realize its capabilities and potentials, the adoption of drone into the scene has greatly increased work efficiency and productivity, decreasing workload and production costs, refining service and customer relations, and resolving security issues. We’re now seeing some obvious evidence for this paradigm shift in industries like Aerial photography, filming industries, express shipping and delivery, gathering information or supplying essentials for disaster management, engineering inspection and many more to come.

How would you bridge the gap from your research to research users?

The simple answer is; to be a part of the community by understanding their needs or to have them to understand what they need. In my case, having the skills and the understanding for drone technology can be very useful for the community in these days.

For some reasons, not many people are willing to explore further into this technology, thinking that drones are too ‘science-thing’ and might be too complicated. To address this perception, we work close with several industrial partners to implement awareness programs to stir their interest in science in general. We need to build a bridge to bridge the gap. Only then we will start seeing users (stake holders) and researchers working together and enjoying the benefit from the research.

Tell us more about your product.

Besides the fundamental research, me and my team design and develop drones for various purposes such as for commercial work or even for recreational enjoyment. We are working out on drone development for medical applications with the integration of artificial intelligence and other technologies. Besides this, we also design drone programs for local community to ensure their competency with the fast-growing industrial revolution (4IR).

What inspired you to be a researcher and inventor?

Curiosity; A short answer to this question. As a child, I enjoyed finding out how things worked. I always enjoyed watching movies such as Star Wars, transformers, MacGyver and many more. This habit has influenced me to experiment lots of weird things and ended up with weird results such as burning-off a radio, old TV, electric guitar and eventually; building a flying drone. I find it interesting to see how our brains actually work through stories and analogies, so even though a film might appear unrelated to my direct world, it actually help me to pick up on the themes and texture, which could improve the understanding and the way we see the picture of life. As a result, you get the feeling that science can be so fascinating. I guess that is why Albert Einstein said “The greatest scientists are artists as well”

What are your aspirations for the future?

I like to explore and to learn new things. I aspire to see drones flying in the air and delivering coffee to my doorsteps. I aspire to send my kids to school by drones. So, I would have to work on that direction. Most importantly, I aspire to always enjoy what I am doing in life for me and for you.