Five organisations that are flying the flag for drones in critical, life-saving missions have been crowned champions of the inaugural AUVSI Xcellence Humanitarian Award.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI)’s award, which is sponsored by DJI, was presented today at Xponential conference in Denver last week.
These first recipients of the Humanitarian Award were recognised for using drones for disaster management, medical assistance, and search-and-rescue operations at locations around the world, were:
• Aeryon Labs Inc., critical aerial intelligence to first responders in the Wake of Hurricane Irma (Canada)
• DroneSAR, UAV search and rescue (SAR) solution (Ireland)
• Nepal Flying Lab, drone hazard and vulnerability mapping (Nepal)
• ONG DroneSAR Chile, emergency response team and humanitarian aid (Chile)
• Zipline International, medical drone delivery operation (Rwanda)
“We are thrilled to recognise and reward organisations who have utilised drone technology to make great contributions to their communities and the environment, through AUVSI’s inaugural Humanitarian Awards,” said Michael Perry, managing director of North America at DJI.
“We hope this award will inspire more organisations and drone operators to accomplish great feats and help others in their community.”
“As these organisations have shown, unmanned aircraft systems that are typically flown for commercial purposes are also capable of accomplishing vital humanitarian missions,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “
With sophisticated on-board cameras and sensors, drones can quickly fly to remote locations or areas that are inaccessible to ground vehicles because of roads blocked by storm debris or flooding.”
The five organisations will equally divide a $25,000 (£18,000) donation as prizes for their ground-breaking humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.