Spreading joy and love to people via drones


PETALING JAYA: Drones are no longer just for enthusiasts as they are now being taken to new heights in the world of technology and consumer use.

These unmanned aerial vehicles could even be used to bring joy and love to people.

One such lucky recipient was Star Media Group (SMG) chief executive officer Andreas Vogiatzakis who had a pleasant surprise when he got a “Happy Valentine’s Day” card delivered by a drone before a breakfast meeting at Madeleine Cafe in Sunway University here.

The card was from Sunway Education Group chief executive officer Elizabeth Lee.

The handwritten note read: “Dear Andreas, Thank you for your friendship, great support of all that we do.”

Vogiatzakis was reading his copy of The Star newspaper while sipping his morning coffee yesterday when he suddenly noticed a drone (measuring 30cm x 30cm x 30cm) buzzing overhead with a red envelope containing the card.

And, boy, was he astonished by the gesture.

“Receiving a valentine message via a drone is very unique. It’s a surprise. If I had expected anything on Valentine’s Day, it would be a rose.

“It will be a challenge to explain this to my wife,” he laughed.

Vogiatzakis commended Lee for the brilliant idea.

“This is unexpected as I am supposed to meet her to talk about technology and how Sunway supports the society.

“What best way to talk about technology ... with a valentine message being delivered by a drone!” said the father of a 16-year-old boy.

Sunway University’s Research Centre for Human-Machine Collaboration head, Computing and Information Systems Department Assoc Prof Dr Yap Kian Meng shared that they had modified the China-based DJI drone, which cost RM6,000 for the fun valentine project.

“We want our students to experience fun-tier technology at the campus. We hope to encourage talented students to join our programmes and research centre.

“There are a lot of Malaysian youngsters who do not have a platform to showcase their creativity, and we want to inspire them to create drones and enhance innovation,” Yap explained.

He revealed that they have been buying DJI drones for sensor technology research since 2012, and currently have 10 different ones.

“We have been building our own drones since 2015 for final-year robotics projects, for Masters and PhD projects for our students of various faculties,” he added.

Lee said the “groundbreaking work” they are developing within the drone technology will revolutionise the way things are done in the future.

“But for today, we simply chose to spread love,” she quipped.

Also present at the cafe were SMG chief business officer Lydia Wang, its client brand marketing general manager Sara Chacko and client brand marketing senior team lead Jeanie Chiew.
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