Robert Mi

Robert Mi

Co-Founder, Aerolab New Zealand
Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Geospatial Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Astronomy

He is proud of helping create a business that is now established and growing, says Robert Mi who is one of the co-founders of Aerolab New Zealand, which is bringing drones and other technology to New Zealand’s agriculture industry.

“Being on our company’s founding team, I’m involved in a bit of everything – admin, finances, logistics, sales, human resources, marketing and support. However, I’m mainly focused on managing the technical aspects at Aerolab – anything to do with the agricultural drones, robotics and our other technology – as well as managing the government-funded research projects we’re a part of.

“Starting the company was a bit nerve racking, especially as we launched it before even graduating from university. But thanks to the help of my business partners Craig, Steve and Simon, we’ve together built something really cool.”

Being able to play with exciting technology every day is one of the highlights for Robert.

“Being the first from New Zealand to play with the next generation of agri-tech is one of the achievements I’m particularly proud of. The flexibility and ever-changing work environment also keeps things fresh and exciting. One day I could be in the warehouse unboxing our latest gear and the next I could be out in the high country playing with the latest and greatest tech.”

Finding his path
Drones are certainly an important part of his career now, and Robert says it was his time at university that made him realise the possibilities drone technology opens up.

“I came to AUT to pursue my passions for computer science and astronomy, and explore the possibilities to turn my interests into a career. As a child I was always intrigued by the stars and loved reading maps. AUT opened up the pathways to become a professional in the area I’m passionate about.

“I think the biggest moment at AUT that led me down my current career path was learning that drones aren’t just for filming video or taking pretty pictures. By combining drone technology and GIS you can gain incredible location intelligence, which is something we draw on in our work at Aerolab.”

He still has fond memories of his time at university.

“The highlight for me were the close, lifelong friends I made while I was at AUT, and I love seeing the many different and interesting things they’re doing now. I was also very proud of achieving an A+ average throughout my Postgraduate Diploma in Science.”

Advice for other students
Robert, who completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Science in 2021, has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“Don’t feel like you have to follow a set pathway or do what others are doing.

“Chase your interests and what you enjoy, and no matter what you do there will be opportunities waiting for you. Studying at AUT will prepare you for those opportunities.”