Bendigo TAFE and The Institute for Drone Technology program field day.

A pilot program between Bendigo TAFE and The Institute for Drone Technology that looked at the impact of drones in industry concluded last Friday with a flying exercise in Strathfieldsaye.

The chief executive officer of The Institute for Drone Technology Dr Joel Spencer said that drone technology has moved into industry a lot more in recent years.

Agriculture, horticulture, building, mining and conservation land management are just some of the ways drone technology is being used by industry at the moment.

Dr Spencer emphatically endorsed the program at Bendigo TAFE saying it’s giving students who enrol the skills to use drones in their industries.

“They take those skills into their workplaces and have an impact on organisations in this region,” he said.

One of the benefits of drone technology is its ability to collect more data in a safer way, while also being accessible to small business owners.

“Even a fairly good drone costs about $2500. We know a lot of farmers use drones for everyday tasks,” Dr Spencer said.

“Anywhere a lot of distance needs to be covered, drones can do it a lot faster than a person on foot or in a truck.”

Bendigo TAFE Food and Fibre Centre of Excellence director Nicole Broe will now use the findings from this program to direct the curriculum.

“This program helps us get an understanding from an educator, student and industry perspective about how we can integrate the drone technology into
the curriculum,” Ms Broe said.

There is an appetite for more drone programs, with Bendigo TAFE receiving more than 200 responses of interest for an upcoming short course.

“Students are loving it. They are very excited and said this training has been engaging and they’ve learnt so much,” Ms Broe said.

Bendigo TAFE is committed to being at the forefront of drone technology, despite it being a rapidly evolving space.

“We would like to be the front runners when it comes to innovative technology and we want to educate people to use drones in an appropriate way,” Ms Broe said.

– Nicholas Nakos