Celebrating International Women's Day 2018

The theme for 2018's International Women's Day (IWD) is #PressForProgress - there are many aspects to this, for example challenging statements that limit women and assuming women want opportunities until declined.

Engineering - and the drone industry - are somewhat infamous for their masculine culture. Oftentimes if we talk about flying for a particular project, or discussing the design of our drone, you'll hear things like "when can the boys go and fly?" or "can you check with him about this aspect?".

This seems like a minor difference in language, but the assumption that drone pilots or engineers are automatically male is part of the inclusive mindset that IWD advocates for.

I've personally worked with remarkable drone pilots and engineers, both female and male, and the best results usually come about when we work as a team and are able to communicate with each other.

Studies on teams in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) have shown that achieving gender parity within the group is key to improving collective intelligence and group performance, and "having a few 'token' women on scientific teams does not appear to be sufficient in order to improve performance."

In other words, our actions now will have an effect on future STEM team performance and allow women in STEM teams to perform to their fullest.

I was fortunate to be keynote speaker for the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training's Alice Through The Looking Glass IWD event to encourage young women in high school to choose entrepreneurship and non-traditional STEM careers and in the process, break through glass ceilings.

Having a mechanical and aerospace engineering background and currently the Head of Operations for Skyborne's aerial services division, I'd like to lead by example and show what opportunities are available to these young women. 

Photo: Andrea Ambrosio

Photo: Andrea Ambrosio

Enjoying the lolly bar

The splendid Salt House in Cairns was also host to an IWD luncheon to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. I was privileged as guest speaker to present what we can achieve with drones, ranging from beautiful promotional material to aerial photogrammetry and LiDAR surveys.

One of the themes for IWD is to challenge stereotypes and how better to demonstrate this than to extend what we expect from drones (photography) and the image of the drone pilot and engineer?

Sneak peek of our Cerberus prototype amongst charity auction items - stay tuned for more news!

One of the most groundbreaking examples of this technology is the discovery of a huge Mayan megalopolis in the Guatemalan jungle - the overgrown vegetation has hidden the pyramids and roads for centuries. Flying over the site with a UAV equipped with LiDAR, the laser beams penetrate through the treetops and to the rock structures beneath, allowing for even more research possibilities and adding to our collective knowledge of previous civilisations.

Spoilt by Salt House!

Chocolate heaven

International Women's Day doesn't start or end on March 8 - it's a continual challenge to our inherent biases, to genuinely respect the abilities of each and every person, and paying attention to our day-to-day behaviours.

Skyborne supports giving opportunities to capable individuals and will continue to stand for equality.

How much work goes into engineering and producing aerial videos?

 

Skyborne is proud to share this engineering-focused video of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. We filmed the entire video with drones, including the interior shots! The intention was to combine stunning aerial footage with an overwhelming amount of engineering and services facts, which may mean you'll have to watch the video several times. 

This video really highlights some of the functional areas of a building that may not always be appreciated - for example, we don't usually think about how the air conditioning system is designed or how it's been made more efficient in operation. Similarly for the engineers who worked on the mechanical plants or the structure of the building, their efforts usually go unnoticed.

It's also a wonderful example of how much effort goes into producing a video. The footage for this video spanned an entire day from morning to night and obviously involved a great deal of flight planning and coordination on the day. Flying drones is physically demanding and under an Australian summer sun this can quickly become taxing.

Once all the aerial footage was shot, post-production came into play. It may be surprising to learn that selecting appropriate shots or gathering all the necessary factsheets involved several people and is not a straightforward exercise. On top of that, each fact and each accompanying arrow, line, or shape were added and timed individually. It's not a trivial matter to add text to follow the underlying footage, despite how simple it may seem. And of course, things like colour correction and ensuring the video flowed well were considered.

This labour-intensive process is well worth the effort if the vision is to create a high quality, full production aerial video. At Skyborne we pursuit excellence and always aim to create the best work we can. To see more of our work and find out how aerial footage works for you, click here.

 

Our aerial flythrough of the SCUH.

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As part of our overall business strategy, half of our efforts are devoted to aerial photography services for Real Estates, developers, hotels and similar industries. We need revenue coming through the door to stay alive, limit the early capital-raising equity giveaway, establish comprehensive networks and fund the R&D! When we first started the services side of the business, we copied the business models of our competition...a costly mistake.  If you’re copying someone else in almost every way, you are almost by definition securing yourself in last place. Let’s talk about the old business model and then the new one we have adopted at Skyborne Tech. 

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