Drone services, development take off in Mexico

Global Business

With a growing manufacturing and aerospace industry and low production costs, the drone business is booming in Mexico and fast becoming a testing ground for development. Drones are being used to help create maps, make videos and maybe one day deliver products.

CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports.

Two entrepreneurs in Mexico have seen their drone business skyrocket. Robert Rubio and his best friend Rodrigo Tejeria were engineering students in Monterey, Mexico when they decided to open a company called The Drone Experience.

In just two years, they own a fleet of drones to perform a number of jobs. Their biggest contract involves construction companies.

“Drones are so flexible and so easy to move around and find spots that you couldn’t see normally,” Rubio said. “We got to film once for a company where the roofs were very old, so we went in and took some pictures of the roofs instead of someone climbing up and risk (hurting) themselves. We just flew it around, and we were able to tell them they have a crack there, you have to paint there.”

But there’s also less-legal uses for drones in Mexico. Drug dealers are using drones to transport drugs across the border.

There have also been reports of drones interfering with low-flying aircraft.

“The drone industry is growing very rapidly. Lots of people have access to buying them and like everything in life, you have people who use them in a good way and some in a bad way, so it puts everyone at risk,” Rubio said.

Last year, Mexico passed laws to regulate the drone industry to bring it more in line with the United States.


Malawi uses drones to bolster healthcare

Drones are also being used in research, healthcare and medicine. In Malawi, the technology is saving lives by speeding up diagnosis. CCTV’s Julie Scheier reports.

In Malawi drones have entered Africa’s fight against HIV and being used to transport samples from remote clinics to specialist testing labs.

Until now it was done by motorbike and took about 11 days to get blood samples to a central laboratory for testing for the AIDS virus.

Malawi has a national HIV prevalence rate of 10%, one of the highest in the world and every year around 10,000 children die of HIV.

This technology can bring down those numbers and speed up treatment.

The U.N. agency is spending up to $1.5 million annually on the delivery of HIV blood samples in Malawi.