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CIO50 2019: #26-50 Ong Jiin Joo, Garuda Robotics

  • Name Jiin Joo Ong
  • Title Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer
  • Company Garuda Robotics
  • Commenced role 2014
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team No
  • Technology Function 10
  • Founded in 2013, Garuda Robotics is building a platform to enable the next-generation of drone services and applications.

    The Singapore-based start-up’s team combines deep expertise in ground and air robotic vehicles, alongside enterprise-scale web services and situational awareness user interfaces to build drone platforms “that anyone can use”.

    As co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ong Jiin Joo brought together large organisations and small start-ups to form FutureFlight, an innovation consortium in Singapore specialising in Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) technologies.

    This enabled the 10-person group to access innovation teams in Singtel and Gemalto (Thales), alongside emerging businesses such as AirMap, Arete M, Flare Dynamics, Volans-i, and SkyFront.

    The aim? To develop key technologies for BVLOS drone flights to “disrupt urban air mobility”.

    Through identifying the priorities of each business, and pairing it with the unique capabilities of Garuda Robotics, Jiin Joo has helped extract innovation to drive the drone agenda forward.

    For example, by offering to fly spectrum analysers for Singtel, the business could complete a fly test to determine sky coverage in a way that's directed by a drone company's need, helping pave the way for 5G deployment.

    Another example of leadership came through Jiin Joo offering Flare Dynamics access to command centre software, freeing the business to focus on building a reliable docking station, while Garuda Robotics focuses on airspace management issues.

    Operationally, the entire consortium worked as one team, putting forward leading technology in cyber security, computer vision, aerospace engineering, mobile network optimisation and remote situational awareness usability designs, creating one combined compatible product in the process.

    Culturally, the approach also “broke down commercial walls” and brought out the "Singapore Inc" spirit for creating high tech products for domestic and international markets.

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