Drones For Good: Giving Thanks for Help from the Skies


“To give thanks … is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go.” – Victor Hugo

As we gather to feast and re-connect, let’s take a moment to discover reason to be thankful for the the growing concept of #DronesForGood:

Drones Save Four in One Day

One week in May, “marked a new milestone in public safety drone use,” according to a report by drone giant DJI.

Drones assisted in the rescue of four people across two continents in one day. “This brings the total number of people rescued from peril by drones around the world to at least 133,” a DJI spokesperson said at the time.

British police deployed a thermal-imaging drone to locate a missing, injured man perched at the edge of a steep cliff face in Exmouth.

In Indiana, the Wayne Township Fire Department dropped a life vest to a fleeing suspect who got stuck in a pond. A rescue drone in Hill County, Texas also dropped a live vest to a mother and her 15-year-old daughter who were stranded in a rising river and didn’t know how to swim.

Drones Deliver Medical Samples

Swiss Post is partnering with drone maker Matternet to create a drone transport system to deliver lab samples via BVLOS flights between Tiefenau hospital and University Hospital Insel in Berne with more pilot projects expected later in Zurich. When it comes to lab samples, transport speed between medical facilities can make the difference between life and death. Samples delivered by drones cannot be stopped by heavy street traffic and can drastically cut down courier transport time.

The Humanitarian Drone Corridor

Unifly, a Belgian software firm that develops unmanned traffic management (UTM) solutions, is joining forces with UNICEF, creating the first ever UTM drone corridor in Africa. The “humanitarian drone corridor” in Malawi serves as a dedicated unmanned flight-testing space and includes Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) testing in a territory spanning more than 1,900 square miles up to 1,300 feet above ground level.

Helping Sea Creatures

According to a DroneLife report last month: “Oceans Unmanned is working with teams to track distribution and abundance of species – everything from whales to sea otters – with drones.  They help identify whales that have been become entangled in fishing gear.  They map and model shipwrecks, and marine heritage areas – places that might be too shallow to evaluate from a boat. They help to identify illegal fishing activity, which acts as a powerful deterrent.  And they’ve counted and monitored human use of conservation areas also.”

The term “Drones for Good” first came to the public’s attention after the United Arab Emirates launched the Drones for Good Award – a competition “dedicated to transforming these exciting [UAV] technologies into practical solutions for improving people’s lives today.”

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.

Email Jason
TWITTER:@JasonPReagan

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