Drone Challenge finalist returns with confidence using drones to address social challenges in PNG
McLaren Hoping, the young Papua New Guinean who took part as a finalist in a global drone challenge has returned full of confidence and positivity.
From 245 participants in 55 countries in the global south that participated in the Unusual Solutions Competition, he was one of the final nine who travelled to Nairobi, Kenya for the final pitch event.
As a finalist McLaren received a grant of USD 15, 000 that was used in the past four months to further develop his concept revolving around how best to use drones in tackling social issues at the local level, to pitch in Kenya.
Despite not winning, McLaren said: “This opportunity has given me more confidence as an entrepreneur in my field of expertise. I feel like I am now in a better position to repackage my concept and work on further advancements where necessary,” he said.
McLaren is looking to team up with local talents and innovators sharing the same interests and passion to deliver analogue to digital solutions for planning and development while focusing on addressing local social problems.
“I have learnt that if we can dream about it, we can eventually make it happen. The only thing stopping us from achieving what we want in life is the lack of commitment to our own dreams,” he said.
He said drones are becoming effective and now a sought after solution for many industries across the globe, including those in the media, surveillance, mapping, exploration, health supplies and cargo movement.
However, in PNG, the missing link between our problems and these little flying robots, whether we are in business or community problem solving, is fully understanding their capabilities and applying them to address local challenges.
His participation in the Unusual Solutions Competition hosted by WeRobotics had been a great learning experience and was a pleasure for him to raise the PNG flag on foreign soil.