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Title STEPI In-House Seminar on the “Present and Future of Drone Technology”
Date 2018-06-28 Hit 66  

The Office of Multilateral Cooperation Project of STEPI held an in-house seminar on the “Present and Future of Drone Technology” on June 5. For the seminar, Hyun-beom Lee, senior researcher of R&D Center for 4th Industrial Revolution of Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials made a presentation about the drone technology and industry as a guest speaker and moderated a follow-up debate with STEPI researchers. 


In his presentation about the definition and utilization of drone, Dr. Lee stressed the growing trend in the sector of Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) among others before explaining the various roles of drone which is applied in military, agriculture, research, commercial and other purposes. He also touched on the technical aspect of drone such as drone’s control, autonomous flight, sensor and etc. As he introduced the advertisements of Lexus, KMel robotics and Intel, which highlighted drone technology, the technical evolvement of drone seemed apparent. Ehang 184, Airbus ‘Vahana’ and Uber ‘Elevate’ were also mentioned. Particularly, he analyzed DJI from China with the overwhelming dominance in the drone market in detail.


According to Dr. Lee, DJI maintains 1/3 of its workforce as researchers and its products boast excellent hovering flight capability and gimbal technology with competitive prices. It is notable that all of the eight graduates of HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)-DJI Joint Innovation Laboratory entered DJI (seven graduates) and Tencent (one graduate) while most of Ph.D. recipients in Korea join private and government research institutes, which indicates that in China young scientists are more interested in innovation and technology development than job security.


In conclusion, he emphasized that it would be important to understand the level of future technology for the outlook of the drone market through basic research trends. Lastly, he predicted that drones are expected to advance in terms of autonomous flight (entertainment, Air Taxi) and active interaction and utilization.