Doing Good with Drones

ReAllocate is a new non-profit social startup, founded by nano-master Dr Mike North from the Discovery Channel’s Prototype This show.

ReAllocate is a non-profit that curates top talent teams of designers, engineers, business professionals and community organizers to enable humanitarian efforts.  “ReAllocators” have the technical expertise and desire to make a difference in the world.  By giving our teams the training, structure, and funding needed, ReAllocate rapidly delivers innovative and effective solutions working with local communities to address areas of need.  These efforts are captured and shared through digital media storytelling that supports growing awareness of the humanitarian project, as well as the CSR commitments of our sponsors.

The effervescent Dr North has some big dreams for this year’s Burn. We are sworn to secrecy on some aspects, suffice to say that your minds will be blown! To give you an idea of some of the high-tech vision, ARIA (an open source drone project) and Reallocate have teamed up to put the call out for unmanned aerial drone experts.

ARIA and are seeking an UAV expert interested in the development of an UAS (an Unmanned Aerial System = UAV + Base station) for a project at the Burning Man festival.  For this project, we will be delivering a system that is capable of tracking a person (via GPS enables tracker) and delivering a payload to their dynamic location.  This project is a proof of concept solution to be tested in the unforgiving terrain of Black Rock City, Nevada.

Specifically, we need someone who is in the Bay area (or can come to the Bay Area) in August and attend the Burning Man festival for the duration of the test project. This person should be able to assemble, troubleshoot and fix both hardware and software problems on the spot. They also need to be able to integrate the system in the three weeks prior to Burning Man. We will be able to facilitate entry to the event and provide a location to work on the UAV in the Bay Area.

The goal is to build an UAS (unmanned autonomous system – vehicle + base station) based in a shipping container. The retrofitted shipping container would be the workshop / base station used to charge and deliver objects to dynamic GPS-enabled points.

The Burning Man project will serve as a proof-of-concept for an open source network of retrofitted shipping containers that can be used to exchange goods and services in regions of the world that have no existing infrastructure, thus addressing the “last mile” challenge. All the development will be open source and will be published with the goal of making this network open for everyone to continue iterating and deploying.

About ARIA:

ARIA stands for Autonomous Roadless Intelligent Array and it is an open source company that is collaborating with Reallocate in autonomous logistics infrastructure projects.  ARIA builds autonomous logistics infrastructure to leapfrog traditional road infrastructure and unlock economic opportunity.

About ReAllocate:

ReAllocate enables world class talent to successfully address real world problems. We are a global nonprofit organization made up of volunteer innovators, technologists, designers, and business brains to address humanitarian challenges.

via Attention Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Experts (and General Do-Gooders)! – DIY Drones.

Drones have been to Burning Man before, and no doubt will be arriving in increasing numbers now that we’re well into the 21st Century. SkyNet, anyone?

It is great to see Silicon Valley’s best and brightest trying to figure out how we can use military-originated technologies, for peaceful and humanitarian purposes. Recently, there was an excellent article on this very topic in Foreign Policy magazine entitled “Predators for Peace”.

Emboldened by the robots’ versatility, a new movement is emerging to adapt them for international aid. An expanding range of entrepreneurs is crafting prototypes and sketching out plans to use drones to distribute medicines or conduct emergency functions. A start-up company called aria (for “autonomous roadless intelligent arrays”) wants to supply rural Africa with a drone skyway network run by aid groups. Leaving drone development to deep-pocket manufacturers, aria is creating “rules of the air” by which relief groups would share the skies. By establishing a community of drone deployers, aria hopes to launch a new strategy of fighting poverty from the air.

Burners.Me is proud to be a founding supporter of Reallocate, please support them too.