Drone technology has a broad scope, and its influence is evident in filmmaking, goods delivery, geographical mapping, rescue operations, and many other divisions. However, the use of the aeronautical technology is just budding in Nepal. Contemplating the minimal use of the drone technology, a group of young Nepali engineers, Raj Bikram Maharjan, Rohit Stapit, and Rojesh Shikhrakar decided to try their hands in this innovative domain by starting a drone service company: Airlift Technology.
The trio started their collaborative journey by participating in the Drone Business Accelerator Program. Each participating team were required to present a business proposal associated with drones in the program. There, they introduced the concept of delivering medical supplies in remote areas using drones. Their idea secured a spot in the top four position. Later, they successfully tested their project, in association with Fusemachines Nepal, within a one-kilometer radius in Khokana.
At present, the venture has expanded its scope to various other divisions. They have been active in the 3D modeling of architectural structures, and geographical mapping of roads. Aeronautical engineer Raj Bikram Maharjan’s affection toward heritage preservation got the group to voluntarily provide 3D modeling expertise to help present a precise replication of archeological units. They also plan to educate students. Maharjan explained, “After completing 3D models of all heritage sites, we plan to develop it into a virtual reality system and distribute it to different schools to provide access to a virtual tour of different sites without having to leave their classrooms.” Additionally, they have also been commercially presenting cinematography services. Feature films ‘Nepte’, ‘Jhamak Bahadur’ and ‘Matti Malla’ are few movie projects that have benefited from Airlift Technology’s services.
Airlift Technology aims to increase the number of drone pilots in the country. They also build drones with fixed wings and multi-rotor catering to beginner pilots. Whereas for professional projects, they use Dji-Phantom 4pro and Dji-Inspire Pro drones.
“Though drones are not illegal in Nepal, attaining a license involves a hectic procedure. You need to disclose your objectives, and maintenance facility is scarce in Nepal,” Maharjan shared the business challenges. Explaining their future plans he added, “Airlift Technology is planning is to use drones in conservation work to monitor the illegal poaching in national parks and conservation areas. We can easily keep track of activates in critical locations, and the national parks because drones are like surveillance cameras in the air.”