Republic Poly opens drone centre and teaching pharmacy

Republic Poly opens drone centre and teaching pharmacy
Trainers Mark Tay (left) and Sasidharan Nair at Republic Polytechnic's unmanned aerial vehicle training centre.
PHOTO: Republic Polytechnic

Last Thursday, Republic Polytechnic (RP) opened an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) centre - the first among Singapore's institutes of higher learning.

RP said the centre was opened to meet the growing usage of UAVs or drones by companies and members of the public.

Mr Mark Tay, 39, a trainer at the centre, said drones have various industrial applications, such as aerial photography and security surveillance.

He said: "Drone technology is getting more advanced, allowing a wider range of applications to be carried out."

He added that, however, proper training is required to ensure safe and effective operations of the UAVs and drones.

The $200,000 centre, which can accommodate more than 50 drones from six different models, provides training and education for drone operators.

All courses are taught by RP instructors.

RP students, such as Mr Muhammad Muzakkir, 19, a Year 3 student in Aerospace Avionics, can benefit from the centre too.

Mr Muzakkir said: "Our final-year project is about building a UAV. We lacked proper parts and flight simulators, but having the centre can help us."

The centre is open to members of the public as well.

Since March 2015, one can sign up for a two-day basic drone flying course for about $1,380 at RP. It has already trained about 120 participants.

With the new centre, there are now more courses available, starting from $600. Those with enquiries can e-mail the trainers at


RP also unveiled another facility, this time in collaboration with NTUC Health, last Thursday.

Called RP-Unity Teaching Retail Pharmacy, it is modelled after an actual pharmacy. It is for students from the diploma in pharmaceutical sciences course to role-play in a real-life retail pharmacy setting.

The opening of these two facilities are in line with the national SkillsFuture movement to equip students with relevant skill sets.

Principal of RP, Mr Yeo Li Pheow, said: "We will continue to expand our industry engagements to train future-ready professionals for the workforce."

This article was first published on Jan 11, 2017.
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