14 November 2016

Humanitarian Uses of UAV and Drones

Disasters that require humanitarian aid often require people to use whatever tool they have to succeed in rescuing and recovering as many people as possible. At this point, we are well aware of donations for food and water in these places as well as supporting the recovery teams. As such relief and support teams need to be able to perform with all the knowledge they can possibly have to not only help those in danger but to prevent further harm and ensure safety for the those aiding the recovery and relief efforts.

Drones and other UAV type crafts can provide aid in this department.

As is common knowledge, drones are primarily focused on survey work. It is with this task, they would be suitable in surveying affected areas to provide a lay of the affected regions to allow relief and recovery teams to work with the knowledge of the affected area from not just the ground level. Not only that but later reconstruction efforts could be aided by allowing the gathered surveyed data to created detailed maps instead of relying on memory, hand-drawn maps or Google Maps.

Humanitarian picture above courtesy of Aeryon Labs Ltd

MEDAIR, an international relief agency has already utilized the possibility of using drones to aid a recovery effort. This was after the Super Typhoon Haiyen hit the Philippines back in 2013 and several towns were badly affected. Drones were able to be used to take thousands of aerial images and transmit that data into maps and 3D models which were then used to aid the community of the affected areas in reconstruction efforts as well as marking hazards that had emerged from the Typhoon to the local area. This was the first time that MEDAIR used drones to aid their efforts but it was quite clear that this was an atoning success in the recovery effort.
( Read More on the details here )

The organization that aided MEDAIR was Drone Adventures who promote the use of drones for Humanitarian Aid. They are one of the bigger groups behind this push of using drones for good in the public setting allowing them to be used for things like archaeological work or mapping regions that are undergoing environmental change.

Along with this, the UN has been looking into the uses of Humanitarian Drone usage. This has been mainly because that Satellite imagery, while it has been useful over the last twenty or so years it has been in use. However, the costs, time and general need of service to get the images can hinder the efforts. Not to mention the issues with weather such as clouds which may prevent images being taken by satellite to be used. As previously stated, drones are quicker, cheaper and generally produce better results than a satellite. Given the additional fact that the public can own drones, affected communities can have their own ways of support during a crisis with only a drone and teaching of how to use it being required by members of that community. There is also no doubt that once drones are able to carry heavier packages, they could even be used for supply drops to other communities.

Much like us at 3 AXIS, we also believe in the many roles that drones can play in our ever-changing world. The future of the humanitarian future of the drone is wide and open and we at 3 AXIS embrace this wide expanse that drones can permit.

If you wish to understand further, WeRobotics co-founder Patrick Meier gave a Ted Talk that greatly explains the humanitarian uses which the example of the affected communities in Nepal. It’s a good watch to further explain how drones can be used in the terms of humanitarian aid.

If you wish to learn even more how drones could be used in your own communities or how they could be used to help in disaster areas, contact 3 AXIS today.

Picture below courtesy of WeRobotics here


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