SHORTLIST REVEALED: UAV organisations driving humanitarian aid

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The Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) has identified the industry’s leading lights shaping the use of drones for humanitarian aid.

The organisation has named eight finalists from the unmanned systems community as finalists for the first AUVSI Xcellence Humanitarian Award, sponsored by DJI.

The AUVSI Xcellence Humanitarian Award will recognise five organisations and/or individuals that have made a significant impact using unmanned systems to serve in humanitarian or philanthropic efforts.

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“UAVs are playing a vital role in humanitarian operations around the world—from Chile to Tanzania, to China and Australia—as demonstrated by the submissions we’ve seen from this inaugural program,” said Michael Perry, managing director of North America at DJI.

“In addition to recognising those that have made great contributions to their communities and the environment, this opportunity helped uncover some new innovative applications in how UAVs are being used to serve humanitarian and lifesaving purposes. We thank the judges who undertook the great challenge of selecting the eight finalists from a pool of remarkable submissions, and we hope this inspires more users to accomplish great feats with this valuable technology.”

The Humanitarian Award winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, May 3, during AUVSI Xponential 2018 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The finalists are:

• Aeryon Labs Inc., Aeryon SkyRanger UAS Provides Critical Aerial Intelligence to First Responders in Sint Maarten in the Wake of Hurricane Irma (Canada)
• AnsuR Technologies, GEO-VISION – Integrating Drones for Situational Awareness in Disaster Management (Sweden)
• ONG DroneSAR Chile, Emergency Response Team and Humanitarian Aid Through the Use of Drones (Chile)
• DroneSAR, DroneSAR UAV Search & Rescue (SAR) Solution – Executing Autonomous Aerial Search and Delivering Live Drone Data to Augment First Response Efforts (Ireland)
• Gene Robinson, Wimberley Fire Rescue, “First to Respond” Bringing UAS to Search and Rescue 2005 – 2018 (US)
• Nepal Flying Lab, Drone Hazard & Vulnerability Mapping in Nepal (Nepal)
• WeRobotics, Drones for Disease Vector Control (Switzerland)
• Zipline International, Zipline’s Medical Drone Delivery Operation in Rwanda (Rwanda)

“The unmanned systems industry is innovating at an incredible rate and creating tremendous benefits for our economy, lifestyle and society,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “The XCELLENCE awards give us a chance to recognize the companies and individuals who are propelling the industry into the future.”

Recipients of the Humanitarian Award will receive a $25,000 (£18,000) donation divided among their organisations. The eight finalists demonstrated ground-breaking efforts to improve lives by using drones for disaster management, medical assistance, and search and rescue.

Tags : Aeryon LabsAnsuRAssociation for Unmanned Vehicles Systems InternationalDJIDroneSARGene RobinsonNepal Flying LabONG DroneSARWeRoboticsZipline
Emma Calder

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