Today, unmanned aerial vehicles are used across a myriad of applications, from filming Hollywood blockbusters to exploring impenetrable geographic locations. However recently, the aerial technology has begun to lend itself to a new purpose - Humanitarianism. Today’s UAVs are faster, safer and cheaper to fly which makes them hugely appealing and effective candidates for humanitarian ventures. This has been highlighted in the recent Nepal earthquake disaster, where volunteer UAV pilots played a huge part in the search and rescue operation following the devastating earthquake by coordinating their efforts through Uaviators.org. For a fraction of the cost of their satellite counterparts, UAVs generate real time information, situation monitoring, public information and advocacy, search and rescue, mapping and more. UAVs have played a key role in the disaster relief efforts of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, Hurricane Sandy in Haiti, mass flooding in the Balkans and the aftermath of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Ludian County in Yunnan, China.
The International UAV Humanitarian Award (UAVHA) exists to celebrate the efforts of humanitarian drone projects, search and rescue, not for profit initiatives and recognize some of the industry’s most inspirational role models. The UAVHA will be presented at the UK Drone Show in December 2015, with hugely respected industry greats Dr. Patrick Meier (of UAViators.org, author of Digital Humanitarians) and Patrick Egan of AirVid on-hand to present the award.
The UAVHA is supported by The World Bank, The US Red Cross and The United Nations, with some members of these organisations joining the judging panel for the award. The judging panel will also be comprised of leading industry professionals such as Eric Cheng, Director of Aerial Imaging at DJI Global, filmmaker Phillip Bloom and thought leader on humanitarian technology, Patrick Meier.
Oliver O’Brien, Founder and Project Manager of UKDroneShow.com said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be launching this unique award at the UK Drone Show to celebrate the unsung heroes in the UAV industry. Globally, people are really starting to embrace new technology to improve humanitarian efforts and we want these unsung heroes to be recognised. With backing from some of the world’s biggest humanitarian organisations and a star studded line up of judges, we are confident this first award will be a success and continue to run annually.”
Read the full article in Issue 2 of Drones Monthly Magazine