08-APR-17 - 110.76 - ¥/$ Up
    About   Health   Business   Technology   Drones   Entertainment   Gaijin Journal   JPN on RakutenFM   JAPAN Trade News

Help Wanted: Skilled Drone Pilots
By Brad Frischkorn

Online and newspaper "Help Wanted" ads are likely to include a new kind of job listing in the near future: skilled drone pilots ready for immediate work on solar panel farms, fire stations, and even at old folks homes.

Japan's rapid solar panel buildout, combined with its rapidly aging population and mountainous terrain may indeed provide ample demand for such workers. Such is the hope of Tokyo-based Skyrobot Inc., which is among a small vanguard of companies offering training schools for tomorrow's drone operators.

"Japan is experiencing a drone making boom, but who's going to fly them?" says Satoshi Sumiya, general manager at Skyrobot's IoT (Internet of Things) Division. "At the moment, very few people are qualified or experienced."

After receiving a number of urgent inquiries, the company set up a two-month training course for fresh recruits beginning in April, 2016. Students will train on simulators before moving on to live operation of real drones, including DGI Japan's Phantom 3 unit. Total cost for the course: ¥540,000, which includes certification. Skyrobot expects more than a dozen students in its inaugural class.

And graduates may not be left waiting long for job offers. The company sees job opportunities in its own flagship services, including a drone-assisted solar panel cleaning system that regularly scrubs away grime brought by rain, wind, snowfall, bird droppings and volcanic activity.

Skyrobot reckons that solar panel yield typically falls by 10% or more annually due to accumulated pollen, dirt, sand, and volcanic ash. Flying overhead, drones can snap thermal images to pinpoint where output is being lost.

Scaling up the math, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that global solar power generation will rise 13-fold to 2,400 gigawatts by 2030. An across-the-board 10% average annual fall in output works out to the emission of 134 million tons of CO2 produced by traditional thermal power sources.

Other jobs for pilots include locating missing persons. Statistics show that up to 84,000 people disappear in Japan every year due to kidnappings, outdoor accidents, natural disasters and the effects of mental illnesses.

"Traditional aircraft and helicopter search missions can put a significant burden on families, whether or not their loved ones are eventually found," says Mr. Sumiya. The company's wearable, lightweight, compact and waterproof SKYBEACON transmitter-receiver tag, used in coordination with its SKYRESCUE robot system allows for efficient location at a fraction of the cost, he adds.

Looking at Japan's demographics, the importance of affordable locator services may indeed be difficult to overstate. The country is home to 8.6 million mountain climbers at least 60 years of age, the ranks of which are rising as more people retire. Meanwhile, the number of patients with dementia-related diseases such as Alzheimer's already number 4.6 million--almost the same as the United States which has a population more than twice as large.

"It's great to have convenient products, but in the end, skilled people are still going to be needed to operate the equipment," says Mr. Sumiya. "We think that offering both the pilots and the hardware could make for a ‘win-win' situation for our customers."


Drone-mounted thermal imaging allows for spotting trouble areas on solar panels.

"Japan is experiencing a drone making boom, but who's going to fly them? At the moment, very few people are qualified or experienced." – Satoshi Sumiya

Related Links

Sky Robot


Podcast: Five Minute Man on RakutenFM




GAIJIN Journal and News Front Page

99

BUSINESS
Hybrid Computers Set to Shine

“The cheesy tagline for a 2-in-1 is that ‘it’s a laptop when you need it and a tablet when you want it.’” -- Shantanu Basu



SPY TECH
Digital Pet Collar Makes Finding Fido Easy

“Japanese (pet) owners are known to dote on their pets. We think the (digital) collar fits within their taste." -- Seo Young Jin

Neopop



MEDICAL TECH
Doctors Prescribe the Wearable Chair

“Surgeons have been especially vocal, as they can find themselves in the operating room for long hours performing complex procedures and can’t afford to take a break.” - Takuya Sato

Nitto


Five Minute Man by JPN on RakutenFM


ENERGY
Kawasaki Heavy Betting Big on Hydrogen

"If the country can achieve an H2 reliance of just 2% to 3% over the next 13 years, the impact on business, and on the nation, will be huge." -- Shigeru Yamamoto

Kawasaki Heavy


Five Minute Man by JPN on RakutenFM


HEALTH
Hydrogen for Health: the Next Fountain of Youth?

“(Hydrogen) is really catching fire in Japan. People are drinking it, breathing it, and taking it any way they can in hopes for the elusive ‘waka gaeri’ (‘return to youth’) effect." -- Kazushige Kiriyama



DRONES
Drones Over Tokyo? There’ll Be Nowhere to Hide

“The popular conception of drones typically sees them as tools of the military, but there is huge potential for peaceful applications.” – Joseph Song

General Atomics



 
08-APR-17 - 110.76 - ¥/$ Up
    About   Health   Business   Technology   Drones   Entertainment   Gaijin Journal   JPN on RakutenFM   JAPAN Trade News
The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Japan Press Network KK. All websites are published in Japan and are solely subject to Japanese law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. JPN, AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Japan Press Network, Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Japan Press Network KK on any Web page published or hosted by Japan Press Network KK. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Japan Press Network KK have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Japan Press Network KK will be ignored and reported to Australian, American, Japanese, Russian and Global Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.