Are you active in the area of using drones for sustainable development or have an idea for how drones could address an environmnetal or humanitarian issue? Take part in next year’s UAE Drones for Good Award.
The competition, organised by the government of the United Arab Emirates, was held for the first time in 2015 and looks to shift public perceptions about drone technology application by encouraging teams to submit and develop proposals that, as the competition name suggests, use drones for good.
It’s no secret that drones do not have the best reputation. Derided as tools of warfare, drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles) and their use in conflict zones stir up a lot of controversy and debate. Recently though, public perception has been starting to shift as private ownership of drones increases and individuals, organisations and activists put drones to work in the field of sustainable development.
The competition is divided into two sections: national and international. The winner of the national competition will receive one million AED while the winner of the international category will be awarded one million USD. The overarching criteria that all applicants must meet is submitting an idea to use drones in a way that has the potential to improve people’s lives in areas such as health, environment, humanitarian aid, social services, education and more.
Earlier this year, a team from Swiss company Flyability took out the international prize for their Gimball drone, which features a camera encased within a carbon-fibre cage. The cage is damage-resistant, allowing Gimball to be piloted through narrow passages and dangerous terrain. The team at Flyability are looking to use Gimball to, among other things, help look for people trapped under rubble following a natural disaster. Wadi Drone, which uses drone technology to assist wildlife conservation efforts, won the national competition this year.
Submissions for next year’s Award are open until 16 November. More information about how to apply can be found on the competition website.