Seeking to show the positive side of drones, the United Arab Emirates has quite literally put its money where its mouth is, offering over $1 million in prizes to participants in this weekend's Drones for Good event. Although this event is only in its second year, it made splashes in media world wide, as many considered it to be the "World Cup of Drones."
Hosted in Dubai Internet City, there were over 800 entries from 57 countries. Although the event aims to inspire innovation, one of the caveats of the entries is that their ideas must be executable in two years or less.
The happiest team this weekend was the the Flyability team from Switzerland, which walked home with $1 million in prize money for its Gimball drone. It isn't necessarily the flashiest drone in the world (those exist, trust us), but it aims to be one the safest, as it mimics insects' ability to crash into objects and continue flying.
The Gimball drone does this by flying in a protected cage, which, in addition to allowing it to bump into objects while flying, prevents it from injuring innocent bystanders. Somehow, we think that is a good idea .
Considered to be the world's first collision-proof drone, it is meant to be used for search and rescue missions to look for survivors where humans can't possibly go.
The National award was given to a team who created a 2.2 kg drone that can fly around Wadi Wurayah National Park to collect data from 120 cameras that capture images of wild animals at the park. The drone aims to document the vast diversity of the UAE's wildlife.
"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed believes that technology should be used for the good of people and in the service of the people, and that governments should be the first to adopt the latest technologies,” said Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE minister of cabinet affairs, when the event was first launched in February 2014.
From the Drones for Good website, below is a video showing the future with drones.
It's official. We're drone-obsessed.