Five organizations that pioneer new ways to use drones for good are winners of the second annual XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award from the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI). The award, which is sponsored by DJI, was announced today at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
“We’ve seen an expanding implementation of drone technology in the past year, from locating humans lost under cluttered forest canopies, to dropping critical medications in Africa, Oceania and Latin America, to enabling students to program unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and fly autonomous missions,” said Mario Rebello, Country Manager for North America and Vice President of the Americas at DJI. “These innovators prove that drone innovation is driven not just by the technology itself, but by its users. We are thrilled to see drones embraced widely across more industries, and we hope the award will inspire more drone operators around the world to accomplish great feats in their own communities.”
The recipients of 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award are pioneering a much more profound implementation of drone technology, from disaster relief and public safety, to education and training, firefighting, wildlife conservation, and ecosystem solutions:
- North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Hurricane Florence Response, the utilization of UAS in emergency response for Hurricane Florence (United States)
- Swoop Aero, vaccine and health supply delivery (Vanuatu)
- NASA/MIT Search and Rescue under the Canopy (SARUC), locating humans and materials lost in challenging and cluttered forest areas (United States)
- Project Lifesaver International, search and rescue for ‘at risk’ individuals who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering (United States)
- Zipline International, medical drone delivery operation (Rwanda and Ghana)
“The Humanitarian Awards demonstrate the profound ability of the recipients to positively impact lives through unmanned systems technology,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “We proudly recognize the five winners and hope their accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to utilize UAS to accomplish remarkable achievements for our society.”
The five organizations will equally divide a $25,000 prize for their ground-breaking humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.