Next-Generation Drones for Instantaneous Relief Supplies

Article by Peter Diamandis  | Peter Diamandis Blog

Particularly in the case of wildfires and conflict zones, autonomous drone technology is fundamentally revolutionizing the way we identify survivors in need and automate relief supply. Not only are drones enabling high-resolution imagery for real-time mapping and damage assessment, but preliminary research shows that UAVs far outpace ground-based rescue teams in locating isolated survivors.

As presented by a team of electrical engineers from the University of Science and Technology of China, drones could even build out a mobile wireless broadband network in record time using a “drone-assisted multi-hop device-to-device” program. And as shown during Houston’s Hurricane Harvey, drones can provide scores of predictive intel on everything from future flooding to damage estimates.

But beyond surveillance, UAVs have begun to provide lifesaving supplies across some of the most remote regions of the globe. One of the most inspiring examples to date is Zipline.

Created in 2014, Zipline has completed 12,352 life-saving drone deliveries to date. While drones are designed, tested and assembled in California, Zipline primarily operates in Rwanda and Tanzania, hiring local operators and providing over 11 million people with instant access to medical supplies.

Perhaps one of the most consequential and impactful applications of converging technologies is their transformation of disaster relief methods. While AI-driven intel platforms crowdsource firsthand experiential data from those on the ground, mobile connectivity and drone-supplied networks are granting newfound narrative power to those most in need.

Learn More About Zipline


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