Zimbabwe’s top tertiary institution, University of Zimbabwe now boasts of five students studying aeronautical engineering who developed four drones, which used to be known as unmanned aerial vehicles, that can be used both in border security surveillance, crop fumigation, filming and videography and other useful functions.The team made up of Tinashe Madondo, Jeremiah Chakaamba (26), Tinotenda Mundoringisa (22), Bervin Chikwangura (27), Matthew Kufa (23) and Ruvimbo Sichilaba (21), started developing the prototype drones in 2021.
“We have built four drones using both imported and locally manufactured materials. It’s a project by five students and we want to solve some of the problems related to agriculture, border surveillance, film and videography as well as delivery of critical medicines to remote parts of the country,” said Tinashe Madondo (22), the project leader and third year aeronautical engineering student.
“We have tested them up to an altitude of not more than 120 metres, the maximum permitted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. We did the trials here at the UZ and we are so excited by these achievements,” said Madondo. “These are just prototypes and we hope to get funding from the UZ Innovation Hub to commercialise this project and also to develop a Hybrid VTOL drone which can ferry medicines and other critical supplies in emergency situations by December this year.” The students built the drones, and then configured the systems.