The Helping Drone: How drone technology is being used for humanitarian relief

Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Health, Tech

n-drone-large570It was like something out of a movie.

I watched as a drone flew in to within 10 feet of a collapsed building, gathering data, taking pictures and assessing the damage.

That’s the best way to describe Disaster City, Texas A&M, a 52-acre training facility where engineered train derailments, chemical spills and building collapses are part of the normal day-to-day routine for the training of emergency response professionals. In March, I watched as a drone flew in to within 10 feet of a collapsed building, gathering data, taking pictures and assessing the damage.

But what looked like Hollywood was actually a real drone demonstration conducted by Dr. Robin Murphy, a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M and an expert in disaster robotics. The demonstration was designed to show how drones could help save lives in the event of a real building collapse.

The American Red Cross, together with Measure, a drone consulting firm, recently shared these findings with local, state and federal emergency managers, members of Congress and the Executive Branch during an event in Washington, D.C.

As an engineer and as Director of Autonomous Systems for UPS, I have studied drones for years, but watching the simulation made the technology less theoretical and more real. For example, what you don’t see on TV or in the movies are the many safety protocols and precautions that are at play in the use of drones.

Looking forward, drones can help save lives during search and rescue missions. Whether used to assess a damaged building to see when and how to send in help, deliver critical aid including medicine and water, or relay Wi-Fi and cellular phone service, drones can quickly assist. When time is of the essence, drones can help define where to put resources and people – and where to prioritize.

– See more at: http://3blmedia.com/News/Helping-Drone-0#sthash.ToUz8tVH.dpuf

3BL Media

3BL Media is the leading CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and sustainability news and content distribution company. The company works with organizations including, multinational corporations, SME's and non-profits to distribute multi-format media assets regarding environmental and social issues. 3BL Media leverages its expertise in corporate responsibility, technology and social media to enable organizations to communicate their Triple Bottom Line initiatives to various stakeholder groups. 3BL Media is the publisher and producer of The CSRminuteâ„¢ and the CSRreportâ„¢. http://3blmedia.com

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