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Home » Gadgets » Humanitarian Drone Pilots Can Save Lives

Humanitarian Drone Pilots Can Save Lives

While people often associate drones with covert military operations, many pilots have recently been using them for humanitarian purposes.

Drones — or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — are tools that can be used for a wide range of applications.

Unfortunately, the general public’s perception of UAVs is extremely negative. Here are three ways that they are being used to change the world for the better:

Here are three ways that they are being used to change the world for the better:

1. Locate Missing People

When a person goes missing, standard search protocol involves parties of search groups and rescue dogs to locate the missing individual. However, in the future, drones may become a common ally in search parties.

Groups in Switzerland have been experimenting with using drones to locate missing people on difficult terrain.

The groups Redog and the Swiss Federation of Civil drones have successfully used teams of drones and dogs in search operations for several months now, and they intend on introducing many more drone pilots to their ranks.

Drones overhead give useful aerial views, while dogs on the ground can search in areas with thick foliage.

There are as many as one hundred thousand people missing in the United States at any given time. If this technique grows in popularity, drones could save the lives of many people.

2. Protect Civilians in Warzones

Drones can also be used to protect civilians from being hurt in warzones.

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Source: Kickstarter

Take, for example, the problem of landmines.

These explosive devices are scattered in many countries.

Teams of deminers commonly use metal detectors to locate the explosives.

While these efforts have saved thousands of people, mines still claim the lives of over 20,000 people every year.

Nearly 80% of these are civilian fatalities.

A new type of UAV could be the solution.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, a new drone is being developed called the “Mine Kafon Drone”.

Billed as a “airborne demining system”, this UAV could completely eliminate the problem of landmines in as little as ten years. 

Creator Massoud Hassani claims that the drone clears minefields twenty times faster than people can — and without the risk to human life.

Currently, the best technology available for detecting mines is ground penetrating radar — but removing mines can still be a tricky proposition.

If the final product proves to be as effective as it has been during demonstrations, Mine Kafon Drones could save hundreds of thousands of lives over the long term.

3. Deliver Humanitarian Aid to Disaster Zones

Drones can also be used to assist people in disaster zones. Whenever natural disasters strike, food and medical supplies can become scarce.

Typically, it can take several days before it is safe for helicopters or planes to visit areas after a natural disaster.

Drones, however, can fly at much safer lower altitudes. UAVs can be used to deliver goods to disaster zones in a timely manner.

Drones will have a positive impact on humanitarian efforts across the globe in the future.

Currently, a research team funded by the Australian Red Cross is investigating the possibilities.

The team will travel to Fiji to aid those in areas hit by Cyclone Winston earlier in 2016. They will also assist other South Pacific countries. Patrick Meier, the head of the project, claims that drones can help fill the “vacuum of information” after a disaster.

GPS coordinates and footage can assist with humanitarian aid. It will give an idea of the severity of damage, and let workers strategize to make the best impact on the region.

Best of all, this information can be made available almost immediately after disaster strikes.

The goal of this research is to determine if drone intervention is feasible in humanitarian aid efforts. Results so far have been promising.

Drones will have a positive impact on humanitarian efforts across the globe in the future.

Today, innovative pilots are using UAVs to better the world. Extensive research and specialized drones aren’t alone in these efforts; there have even been examples of hobby drones being used for humanitarian work.

Through these efforts, the public image of drones will doubtlessly change.

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Bob Hand

Bob Hand is a tech blogger living in Boise, ID. He has an interest in internet security, marketing, and video games. His hobbies include reading and collecting vinyl. You can follow him on Twitter at
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