By Andrew Maximow, Chief Drone Officer

We demonstrate the values that are important to us on a daily basis. Our values not only align us with like-minded individuals, they keep us grounded. At Firmatek, we value being life-long students. We invest in the training and development of our people at all levels, including student interns and recent graduates.  We recently had an opportunity to teach a member of the up and coming generation about what we do and the technology we use to collect and analyze data. There’s no better way to learn than being immersed in a real-world, hands-on situation.

One of our interns is a talented high school sophomore by the name of Antony “Tony” Klar. He’s nuts about technology, especially building custom computers and drones. After he persistently asked us to get his hands on a drone to repair, we decided to send him our entire collection of broken DJI Phantom 4 Pro (P4P) drones that were collecting dust in storage. We struck a deal. He could keep one of the P4P drone kits if he successfully repaired at least three or more, with the requirement that they needed to be repaired to operational status for the field.

Tony spent the next couple of weeks devouring product manuals. He watched YouTube videos and searched through online DJI Phantom forums for any technical information he could find about troubleshooting tips, firmware updates, camera/gimbal repair – all valuable information not readily available to the general public. After weeks of triage, upgrading, and hacking, Tony emerged from his workshop with a total of 5 out of 7 working drones kits. The other two were so badly damaged they went straight into the trash bin.

As a final step, Tony downloaded mission planning software, planned mapping missions to test the operation of the drone and cameras, and uploaded photos to the Firmatek Cloud for processing. The resulting orthophotos were examined to determine the final quality of the collected data.

In the end, Tony transformed his budding interest in drones into a passion for flying robots.  He learned something new and got real-world experience and the satisfaction of completing a complex project that added a ton of value.  Great job Tony!  We wish you all the best this coming school year and in your future endeavors.

More About Tony Klar

Tony Klar is a 15 year old sophomore attending Don Bosco preparatory High School in Ramsey, New Jersey. Tony spends a lot of time working on computers, drones, cinematography, and other tech. In his spare time, Tony repairs old computers and programs Arduino & Raspberry Pi boards for various projects.  Most recently, Tony built a custom PC with a high-end network attached server.  Tony has been exploring FPV, mapping, and cinematography drones, and is expanding his cinematography hobby from an aerial perspective. Tony excels in academics and athletics alike, playing sports including lacrosse and crew. This past year Tony was nationally ranked in the men’s under-17 singles crew.