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Equip's flying robot program takes off

Employers  |  19/08/2016  |   2 min read

Equip’s Flying Robot partnership with Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network continues to gain momentum. Founded in June, the initiative provides students in the Gippsland region with a pair of advanced drones to help with their studies. 

By showcasing the link between technology and its real world application, the program aims to encourage careers in science, engineering, and mathematics. So far three Gippsland colleges – Kurnai, Traralgon and Lowanna – have signed up for the program.

Speaking about the students’ response, Mick Murphy, the Chief Executive Officer for Baw Baw Latrobe LLEN, noted the enthusiastic uptake. “Students pick up the skills required very quickly. As the units have GPS and return to base capacity, they are significantly more controllable and therefore flexible. Controlling these units seems second nature to young people.”

Drones are already being used to solve all kinds of real world problems, and the idea is that students in the Gippsland region will be able to tackle their own local issues with the help of the program. 

According to Mick Murphy, “Drones are currently being used by power companies to inspect power lines, our local provider of agriculture and horticulture training is currently developing courses which include the use of drones, and Monash University has commenced using drones in the research and management of seals on Phillip Island.”

In the meantime, the partnership between Baw Baw Latrobe LLEN, Equip, and the Flying Robot School has ambitious plans for the future. As Mick explains, “Schools in the region are considering long term projects that use drones in agriculture, water management, waste management and inspections of facilities.”

“Long term, the project will be embedded in the soon-to-be-developed Gippsland Technical School, a facility for use by all schools providing training and skills development in advanced manufacturing, new energies, food and fibre and advanced health technologies.”

Image courtesy of the Latrobe Valley Express

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