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UAE to use drones for government services

Discussion in 'Middle East & Africa' started by Devil Soul, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

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    UAE to use drones for government services
    By Reuters
    Published: February 11, 2014
    [​IMG]
    United Arab Emirates' Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum looks through a visor as he tests an unmanned aerial drone during Virtual Future Exhibition. PHOTO: REUTERS

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates says it plans to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver official documents and packages to its citizens as part of efforts to upgrade government services.

    The wealthy Gulf state is known for its showmanship – it boasts the tallest skyscraper in the world – and its love of high-technology gadgets. The drone project appears to satisfy both interests.

    “The UAE will try to deliver its government services through drones. This is the first project of its kind in the world,” Mohammed al Gergawi, a minister of cabinet affairs, said on Monday as he displayed a prototype developed for the government.

    The battery-operated vehicle, about half a meter (1-1/2 feet) across, resembles a butterfly with a top compartment that can carry small parcels. Colored white and emblazoned with the UAE flag, it is propelled by four rotors.

    Local engineer Abdulrahman Alserkal, who designed the project, said fingerprint and eye-recognition security systems would be used to protect the drones and their cargo.

    Gergawi said the drones would be tested for durability and efficiency in Dubai for six months, before being introduced across the UAE within a year. Services would initially include delivery of identity cards, driving licenses and other permits.

    Proposals for the civilian use of drones have run into practical difficulties elsewhere in the world. In December Amazon.com Inc chief executive Jeff Bezos said his company planned to deliver goods to millions of customers with a fleet of drones, but safety and technical issues mean the plan is unlikely to become a reality in the United States this decade, engineers say.

    The UAE drone program faces similar obstacles, plus temperatures which often exceed 40 degrees Centigrade in summer and heavy sandstorms which occasionally sweep across the desert country.

    “Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country,” Gergawi said.
     
  2. Counter-Errorist

    Counter-Errorist FULL MEMBER

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    I hope they're considering the air traffic regulations for this, even if they're low-flying ones. It's a novel idea, but the UAE is notorious for implementing first, regulating later.
     
  3. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    April 09, 2014

    Bur Dubai to Deira in 3 minutes... Drones begin delivery

    Government departments report successful delivery of documents

    A government department in Dubai has started using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver documents, Emirates 24|7 can reveal.

    “We used an UAV to transfer documents from our Bur Dubai office to Deira,” said Sauood Al Malih, Official, Technical Department, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai, on Tuesday.

    “The UAV crossed the Creek and delivered the documents in three minutes only.”

    The new UAV is at display at an event at Dubai World Trade Centre.

    Though the UAV is being used only to delivery in-house documents, Malih said there were plans to deliver passports to individuals but it would commence at a later stage.

    The UAE has been conducting pilot tests to introduce UAVs for a range of civilian government services including delivering documents to the public, monitoring traffic and geographic surveys.

    The initiative supports the UAE leadership’s drive to make government more responsive to its customers and to deliver services as efficiently as possible as an early adopter of the latest technology.

    The UAVs under testing feature advanced technology that allows a remote pilot to track and control the vehicle in real time, including a high-definition video feed.

    Besides, the UAVs that will deliver government documents will use fingerprint recognition to confirm customers' identity.

    Video: Bur Dubai to Deira in 3 minutes... Drones begin delivery - Emirates 24/7
     
  4. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    May 10, 2014

    Application for public service drones award starts

    Drones should serve priority sectors such as health, education, civil defence

    If you know how to better serve the public and can make your idea take flight, you might just be the UAE’s next millionaire.
    The UAE government on Saturday announced that it has started accepting entries for the ‘UAE Drones for Good Award’ that gives prizes worth around Dh4 million. The award aims to explore how people apply the technology of drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to improve people’s lives.

    Drones are unmanned aircrafts controlled remotely from the ground.

    The award was launched under the direction of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the second Government Summit in February.

    The award has two parts, which include an international prize offering $1 million (Dh3.67 million) and a local prize of Dh1 million.

    The local prize will honour the best application for delivering government services in the UAE within the next 12 months. The focus should be on priority sectors such as health, education, civil defence, transportation, tourism, and others.

    The international prize will recognise the best ideas for using UAVs in the next one to three years, focusing on their broader application in any area that may benefit humanity. This could include delivering government services in remote areas to humanitarian applications such as providing relief during natural disasters, to name a few.


    Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said the award is a demonstration of Shaikh Mohammad’s vision to raise the government’s role in supporting innovation in future-related technologies and services that impact positively on people’s lives.

    “This is another step in our efforts to achieve our goal of utilising technology to make life easier for people in the UAE and around the world,” said Al Gergawi. “The world has young innovators who need the support to translate their ideas into landmark projects of benefit to humanity. The award is therefore aimed at encouraging innovation among global students and in universities,” he added.

    Al Gergawi said the government has been working on developing the strategic framework for effectively utilising UAV technology in extending services beneficial to humanity.

    “After identifying the challenges and evaluating the current technology, we created a plan for UAV-based services based on four main pillars: legislative framework, priority services, creation of platforms for exchange of knowledge and experiences, and research and development.”


    For more information, visit Drones For Good

    Application for public service drones award starts | GulfNews.com

    ----------------------------

    Earlier:

    February 11, 2014

    New Dh1m prize for inventing public service drones
    Award launched by the UAE government during the Government Summit

    The UAE government has launched a new Dh1 million prize for inventing drones delivering UAE government services more efficiently and effortlessly.

    The competition — launched under the direction of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai — includes an international version with a $1 million (Dh3.67 million) prize for government services outside the UAE.

    The contest was announced on the sidelines of The Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.

    Drones are unmanned aircraft flown remotely by a ‘pilot’. They can be programmed to fly on their own as well to carry out pre-set tasks such as surveillance.

    Addressing a press briefing, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Mobile Government, announced that organisers hope to see the first winning inventors of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by next year.

    The winner of the international prize will be announced in February 2015 at the next summit.

    The local prize winner will be announced in May 2015, with the winning idea to be implemented within the UAE Federal Government.

    Among those who will be invited to compete will be companies, universities, “creative individuals and specialised professionals”.

    Details of the initiative will be available in two weeks on a dedicated website, Al Gergawi said.

    Civilian purpose

    “The [drone] service must be for a peaceful, civilian purpose that serves humanity,” he said.

    Al Gergawi added that the initiative was part of Shaikh Mohammad’s vision for smart government services. “His Highness Shaikh Mohammad’s goal is for the UAE to be the smartest and most effective government in the world. We are committed to constant innovation in government services because ultimately this is the surest way to improve quality of life for all citizens, residents and visitors,” Al Gergawi said.


    The UAE intends to develop drone technology to deliver a variety of civilian services more quickly and effectively. Potential applications include the delivery of government documents and traffic monitoring.

    Authorities are already working on prototype drone services.

    At the Summit on Monday, officials revealed a project to zip official documents by drone to homes. During its first phase, drones would initially deliver identity cards, driving licences and other permits.


    Prudent delivery

    A biometric identification system would be built in to ensure prudent delivery.

    Al Gergawi had said the drone would be tested for durability and efficiency in Dubai for six months, before it is introduced across the UAE within the year.


    “There are many good ideas [in smart government]. In five years, these ideas will be real… We in the UAE government are always looking five years into the future,” he added on Tuesday.

    Al Gergawi said civil aviation and other regulations will be addressed in the development of such projects.

    There is also an initiative, announced earlier, to use drones in surveying fire incidents in Dubai, to help emergency services assess the situation.

    The international competition will be run by a committee of specialists in UAVs and government officials. They will evaluate how effectively each UAV innovation would make government services more efficient, and save time and effort for customers.


    Award criteria

    The UAV inventions must meet global safety standards, be “highly reliable” and be capable of covering a “reasonable geographical range” within the city that will use them.

    Contestants’ submissions should include a full proposal detailing all technical features required for the drone to carry out a defined government service.


    Technical details and processes for the competition will be announced soon.

    New Dh1m prize for inventing public service drones | GulfNews.com
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  5. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    May 18, 2014

    [​IMG]

    Drones used to monitor flamingoes in Al Wathba
    Drones allow for data collection and species monitoring at key Abu Dhabi wetland

    Environmentalists are now making use of conservation drones to further assess and monitor the flamingo population at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced in a statement sent on Sunday.

    The drones capture footage of the birds in areas that are difficult to reach, thus allowing for the verification of species numbers, the statement said. In addition, the exercise furnishes the EAD with aerial pictures of the breeding birds, acting as a cost-effective data collection method.

    “The drones will help us verify wildlife numbers while providing quality information and a more comprehensive understanding of the species being studied,” said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Daheri, executive director of terrestrial and marine biodiversity at the EAD.

    “Conservation is impossible without adequate field data, and drones are the future of conservation. Drones [act] as airborne robots that are able to access the difficult-to-reach areas while minimising human presence,” she added.

    The Greater Flamingo can be seen throughout the year in the UAE at lagoons and mudflats along the coast. Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is one of the major wetlands in Abu Dhabi emirate, and home to the first successful breeding ground of the species in the Arabian Peninsula.

    Earlier last year, the reserve was declared a Ramsar site by intergovernmental sustainability organisation Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Dr Salim Javed, manager of terrestrial assessment and conservation at the EAD, told Gulf News that the presence of flamingoes in the area played a large role in its recognition as a key wetland.

    “Flamingoes are a very charismatic yet finicky species, and the fact that they choose to breed at Al Wathba shows that the all the environmental variables, such as water level, water quality and number of predators, are in good shape,” Dr Javed explained.

    In winter, Al Wathba sees about 4,000 flamingoes. In summer, after the migratory birds have left, about 2,200 resident birds remain.

    The birds are also seen at many sites across the UAE, including Bu Seif, Ras Al Khor in Dubai and Khor Al Bidah in Umm Al Quwain.

    “But Al Wathba is particularly important. Arabia is at the edge of the breeding grounds for flamingoes, and the last time they bred in the peninsula was 1922, in Kuwait. Around 1998, however, they were successful in Al Wathba, and this is when the potential of the area as a wetland was identified,” Dr Javed said.

    He added that the EAD drones will allow for a non-invasive manner of monitoring the birds. Dr Shaikha also said that the drones will be used to monitor activity at the EAD’s Al Faya and Deleika wildlife management and holding facilities.

    Drones used to monitor flamingoes in Al Wathba | GulfNews.com
     
  6. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    28 May 2014

    Think, innovate and make drones, students told


    They can submit 2-minute video detailing ideas

    [​IMG]
    A drone for instant deliveries displayed at the interactive museum during the Government Summit on February 10.

    The UAE Government is urging students from across the world to make civilian-friendly drones, as part of its newly launched ‘UAE Drones for Good Award’.

    Speaking with Khaleej Times, Saif Al Alaily, project manager of the UAE Drones For Good Award, said: “We are getting in touch with a lot of local and international universities. We have plans to do road shows or Google Hangouts globally to engage students and inform them about the competition.”

    The competition has a cash prize of Dh1 million at the national level and $1 million ($272,000) for the international competition. “We want to bring everyone onboard and the UAE government always believes in student potential. With the right direction, incentives and platform, students can come up with a lot of ideas. We want these students to think and innovate,” said Saif.

    A team of officials working on the drone project at the UAE Prime Minister’s office are visiting major universities across the country. On Tuesday, a delegation interacted with students at the American University of Dubai. “We have a plan to cover all federal and private universities in the UAE. There are two aspects to the competition. Firstly, we will look at the innovation potential of the drones in improving services provided by a government entity. Secondly, the technical aspect of drones is also important,” he said.

    Students are being asked to submit a two-minute video showcasing the potential of their idea, by uploading it to the competition’s official website – Drones For Good

    The national competition is dedicated to rewarding the best, most practical ideas for using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology today for delivering government services in the UAE within the next 12 months. Also it must function safely and effectively, and must fulfil a real citizen need or government service.

    Award Timeline

    Phase 1: Open Call

    The goal of Phase 1 is to come up with ideas for the best government services. Participants have until August 1 to complete their registration, create a two minute video describing their idea, and submit a video to the competition website. Semi-finalists will be announced by the 15th of August.

    Phase 2: Semi-finals

    Phase 2 begins on August 15, with the announcement of the semi-finalists. The goal of Phase 2 is to describe a complete technical solution for the service idea. Semi-finalists will need to submit a detailed technical proposal describing how their service idea will be delivered. Full technical documentation must be upload to the competition website by the 30th of September.

    Phase 3: Finals

    The final round of the national competition will begin on October 15 with the announcement of the shortlisted finalists. The goal of the final phase is to address concerns raised in Phase 2 and demonstrate the actual service. Finalists must prepare a short presentation outlining the technical, functional and economic aspects of their service, as well as perform a live demonstration in front of a panel of final judges. The winner will be selected and announced by November 15.

    Think, innovate and make drones, students told
     
  7. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    21 January 2015

    UAE Drones for Good Award receives over 800 entries


    The award reflects positive response to UAE initiative aimed at employing modern technology to serve humanity


    The UAE Drones for Good Award launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the second Government Summit last February, has received more than 800 local, Arab and international entries, confirming the positive response and global demand for the UAE government initiative that aims to make optimal use of technology to serve humanity and create happiness in the community.

    The award received submissions from 57 countries around the world led by Spain with 62 entries, followed by the United States with 47 and India with 34 entries. Among the Arab countries, Saudi Arabia topped the list with 18 entries, which is followed by Egypt with 8 entries.

    Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, praised the global response to the UAE Drones for Good Award, stating that the number of quality entries highlights the success of the Award in promoting innovation around the world. It has also encouraged the use of technology to create happiness in the society and improve people’s lives, Al Gergawi said. The UAE Drones for Good Award has become the leading international award and embodies the vision of Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the optimum use of modern technology to serve humanity,Al Gergawi added.

    Al Gergawi said the global response to the award also reflects the successful efforts of the UAE government in meeting the requirements of future governments by providing exceptional solutions focused on innovation and the use of technology for civil and peaceful means.

    “The UAE government has always been the first to launch initiatives that keep pace with global changes and has harnessed creativity and innovation to serve humanity, identifying them as the real wealth of developed societies,”Al Gergawi said.

    Al Gergawi commended the creative level of the projects received, and the volume of entries from global educational institutions, which included quality ideas in content as well as application in various fields. Al Gergawi pointed out that the entries focused on critical areas of relevance to daily human life and have the potential to contribute to improved services in areas such as health, education, civil defense, transport and communications, as well as government services, natural disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance. The award is also expected to significantly contribute to reduced costs of many services as well as their increased efficiency.

    Entries from continents

    Among the main sectors covered by the entries in the international competition of the award, relief services topped the list, accounting for 20 per cent of the entries. Civil defense services ranked second accounting for 15 per cent, followed by economic development and the environment at 14 per cent, respectively, and logistics accounting for 13 per cent.


    The substantial number of entries providing services in the health sector made it 11 per cent of the entries. Up to 9 per cent of the entries were related to the field of humanitarian services, while 4 per cent were focused on education.


    Among countries, Colombia and Poland contributed 15 projects each, and the United Kingdom 11 projects, whereas Australia, Austria, Brazil, Pakistan and Egypt each had 8 entries. Canada and Chile contributed with 7 entries each
    .

    The semi-final qualifiers

    The list of participating countries includes Azerbaijan, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and South Korea from Asia, while Algeria, Egypt, Libya, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tunisia constituted the countries from Africa.


    The European entries were from Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and Turkey.


    From South America, entries came from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru. Entries from Central America were from Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Posts were also from the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


    At the global level, the award has received 154 entries from educational institutions with strong presence from the UAE universities, as well as international universities such as MIT, Stanford, and the University of Sanjulata.


    The winners of the award will be announced in February 2015 based on the results of live demonstrations by qualifiers of the semi-final stage in front of the panel of judges.

    UAE Drones for Good Award receives over 800 entries - Khaleej Times
     
  8. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    January 29, 2015

    [​IMG]
    Khalifa University Students Alaya AlMaaizmi (L) and Mouza Al Shemaili (R) with their drone.

    UAE students design drone to dissipate fog at airports

    A team of academics and students from Khalifa University have developed a drone for dissipating fog from an airport runway or a busy road within minutes.

    The design has reached the last 19 out of more than 400 entries in the international Drones For Good competition held in Dubai.


    Dr Reyad El Khazali, the team’s leader, said such a drone was vital for the UAE as the country suffered heavy and disruptive fog conditions in winter that caused problems on roads and at airports.

    “We’ve tested it in a closed greenhouse, which generated the fog conditions, and we were able to dissipate the fog in 11 seconds,” he said, explaining that the use of a salt solution created an imbalance between the temperature and the dew point.

    “The salt particles absorb the fog particles, which creates the imbalance, allowing us to dissipate the fog. For this project we’re up to 15-20kgs solution capacity in the drone, but in the future we can build a stronger drone that can carry 40-50kgs of solution,” he added.

    The environmentally friendly solution is comprises six per cent salt mixed with water to produce a spray that can clear fog.

    This month, Etihad Airways had to book thousands of passengers into Abu Dhabi hotel rooms after heavy fog led to the cancellation of 20 flights. The fog also caused disruptions at Dubai airport.

    Moza Al Shemaili, 31, one of three female Emirati PhD students working on the project, said the work represented a personal challenge as she often encountered heavy fog during her daily commute from her RAK home to the Sharjah campus.

    “I drive early when the fog is still thick and it causes many accidents,” she said. “This would be very successful to use on the main roads.”

    The idea originated from the concept of cloud seeding, which is used to artificially create rain. The drones are designed to convert the fog into damp droplets.

    Alya Al Mazmi, 21, a fourth-year communications student, said tackling the problems caused by fog affected everyone. “The airports could buy a number of these drones as well as the emergency services vehicles having them ready for dispatch.”

    Dr El Khazali said it would cost up to Dh100,000 to construct each drone, an appealing price considering the amount of revenue lost by airports and airlines in fog delays.

    The competition winner will be announced on February 7 with a US$1m (Dh3.67m) prize on offer. The Khalifa University team, the only UAE representation in the competition’s final stages, will face teams from such famed US universities as MIT and Stanford.

    Ms Al Mazmi said win or lose the team was proud of its achievements.

    “It’s time to make people more aware that there are drones that can be used as solutions to problems. Being involved with such new technology and in this field is a very good thing to be a part of, especially as Emirati women.”

    UAE students design drone to dissipate fog at airports | The National

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    January 26, 2015

    [​IMG]
    The CatUAV drone, designed with the assistance of the European Space Agency, will be used to detect landmines in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is a finalist in the UAE Drones for Good contest.

    UAE entrants offer positive alternatives uses for drones in competition

    Detecting landmines in former conflict zones, giving archaeology buffs a better look at digging sites, and helping to redevelop slums – all are examples of using drone technology for good.

    And the three ideas are among 34 projects, 15 of them local, in the semi-finals of the Dh3.6 million UAE Drones for Good international competition.


    Eight hundred people from 57 countries have entered the contest since it was launched last February, led by Spain with 62 entries and followed by the US and India.

    The award was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, during last year’s Government Summit.

    Local candidates are eligible for a Dh1m prize, with the winner to be announced on February 7.

    One of the finalists, from Denmark, wants to use drones to give visitors to the Royal Jelling museum a bird’s-eye view of the country’s biggest archaeological site.

    The museum has several exhibits on Viking history and the curators want to give visitors a real-world experience.

    “We wanted to give the visitors a concrete sense of the space as it is today,” said Jussi Angesleva, vice creative director of Art+Com, on a video posted to the company’s Vimeo page.

    “It’s a huge space so we have to go high up. Denmark is flat so how do you get up? Well, you can fly a drone.”

    The team designed an archaeodrone concept that gives visitors the ability to pilot the drones and survey the archaeological site by controlling one of six Gopro3 cameras attached to the aircraft.

    “We want to show what drones are capable of for good,” Mr Angesleva said.

    “It’s not only a military technology and it’s not all about surveillance.

    “But drones can also be used for discovering new things, to be excited about history and to understand the world better.”

    Another submission uses the machines to detect landmines in countries coming out of war.

    “It is hard to believe that still there are 70 countries with landmines still in the soil,” says the narrator in Marc Beltran’s Cat-UAV Land Mines Detection video submission.

    “Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the countries with the highest density.”

    The landmine project searches for devices deployed during the early 1990s.

    “Unfortunately, they keep making victims every year. Some get seriously injured and some get killed,” the narration continues.

    “Landmines are buried throughout the country, which interrupts people from having normal lives.”

    Other methods of clearing mines include using specially trained dogs to sniff them out or through robotics, which can be “extremely slow and dangerous”.

    CatUAV, along with the European Space Agency, came up with the idea of using an unmanned drone, the parts of which cost less than US$1,300 (Dh4,775).

    The aerial photographs from the drone are run through a post-processing programme that provides a mosaic map of the area and determines the probability of landmines.

    Another submission comes from David Kiarie, from Kenya, whose project uses drones to help governments and non-profit organisations deliver civil services to the 7.8 million people living in urban slums in his country.

    In Kenya, slum huts are often so densely packed that roads and railway systems are encroached upon, causing fire hazards and sanitation issues from lack of access.

    “Huge fires have at many times consumed valuable property and claimed many lives, with firefighters, humanitarian volunteers, health workers and police officers unable to access scenes of accidents,” said Mr Kiarie, on a video submission to the competition.

    Drones can fly over the slums and capture spatial data to help stakeholders redevelop and control access.

    “This data will inform decision-making and therefore help to save lives, fight poverty and improve security, reduce congestion and allow smooth service delivery to slum residents,” Mr Kiarie said.

    UAE entrants offer positive uses for drones in Drones for Good competition | The National
     
  9. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    31 January 2015

    UAE Drones for Good semifinalists announced

    The semifinalists come from a variety of countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Poland, Germany, US, Spain, Singapore and New Zealand.

    A total of 39 national, international and government contestants have qualified for the semifinal round of the UAE Drones for Good Awards and are now in the running for the prize money totalling Dh4.67 million.

    The award, which was launched by the UAE Government during the second Government Summit held last February, seeks to promote unmanned technology to serve humanity and create happiness worldwide.

    The semifinalists come from a variety of countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Poland, Germany, the United States, Spain, Singapore and New Zealand.

    The entries cover a wide range of potential drone uses, such as humanitarian assistance, emergency rescue and medical services, urban planning, agriculture and public health. The semifinalists were chosen from a pool of over 800 submissions from 57 countries.

    The international entries include a Spanish-designed drone for use in de-mining operations in conflict zones, a Sudanese-designed drone that collects plant samples and plant seeds and a Swiss-designed model to aid in rescue missions.

    One entry, designed by Spanish national Tays Ferrer Gomez and her team, is designed to swiftly transport organ transplants from donor centres to the recipient.

    National semifinalists include entries designed for use in civil defence missions, help monitor the UAE’s wildlife, assist in law enforcement and the effects of climate change on water resource systems. Many contestants, such as Spaniard Arnau Garcia Terrades, expressed gratitude to the Government of UAE for supporting research into drone technology.

    “The award is great idea that will encourage sharing of knowledge and raise the possibility of using this highly advanced technology to improve people’s lives,” she said. The national winner will be given a Dh1 million prize, while the international winner will win $1 million.

    The winners of the UAE Drones for Good Award will be announced on February 6 and 7 at a ceremony in Dubai Internet City with live demonstrations by the contestants in front of a panel of high-profile international judges.

    UAE Drones for Good semifinalists announced

    ----------------------------

    Check out this website: Drones for Good |
     
  10. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    February 6, 2015

    Drones that can save lives, issue parking fines and inspect sites in UAE
    Machines with myriad capabilities showcased at Drones for Good Award semi-finals

    Drones might soon replace parking inspectors in Dubai and automatically catch motorists violating parking rules or even replace cars that deliver blood for transfusions during emergencies.

    These are just a few of the scenarios demonstrated at the semi-final round of the UAE Drones For Good Award on Friday at Dubai Internet City.

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had launched the award at the Government Summit in February last year to put this innovative technology to good use.

    Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, was present at the competition that saw 39 semi-finalists demonstrating their drones’ capabilities to win the judges’ approval to make it to the final round on Saturday.

    Dubbed as the first World Cup of civilian drones, the 15 contestants for the national category and 19 for the international category — were given five minutes each to showcase the drones would-be contribution in the fields of humanitarian aid, civil defence, health, logistics, agriculture, environment, among others.

    An octocopter or eight-rotored drone called Sanad was a crowd favourite when it dropped two lifebuoys on the man-made lake and then lifted a “drowning” man to safety. The Fully Automated Parking System drone also impressed with its capability to scan parking lots every hour for possible violators thus eliminating the need for many parking inspectors.

    The Health Sector drone drew applause from the public for its dramatic portrayal of delivering a pint of blood needed to save the life of a critically-injured patient.

    “We’ve been working on this since October. We used all our spare time and weekends to finish the drone on time as we didn’t want our effort to go to waste,” Mishal Al Marzouqi, who worked on the Health Sector drone, told Gulf News.

    Al Marzouqi said he and his friend, Saeed Al Nazari, worked directly with the Dubai Health Authority to design the drone to carry a mobile pharmacy, blood, and supplies during emergencies.

    “We want to maximise its performance so it can act as a first responder during emergencies and not just a backup. With this drone, we want to make people happier today and not tomorrow,” Al Nazari said.

    Developing drone technology is still in its early stages in the UAE. Regulations on drone flights are underway so as not to disrupt flights or damage property in case of a crash.

    Using drones as opposed to manned helicopters is increasingly becoming popular in many fields that require services in flight because it is estimated to cost one-tenth the actual cost to fly a helicopter to do the job.

    Majid Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, told Gulf News the need for drones in the UAE is there although it has yet to develop.

    “The need is the same as when they invented the car. People didn’t use it then, but used alternative transport. But when the car got developed, it became in demand.

    “The drones have the same potential,” he said.


    Drones in numbers
    • More than 800 entries received from 57 countries
    • Strong presence of universities and academic institutions, with 154 entries from the UAE, the region and around the world
    • Spain tops the global list with 62 projects
    • Saudi Arabia first among Arab countries with over 18 participants, Egypt in second place
    • The 1st place winner of the International competition will receive US$1 million (Dh3.67 million)
    • The National competition carries an award of Dh1 million
    Drones that can save lives, issue parking fines and inspect sites in UAE | GulfNews.com



    -----------------------------------------------

    February 6, 2015

    Highlights of the drones for the national category
    Highlights of the drones for the national category

    Drone name: Health Sector

    Maker: Mishal Al Marzouqi, Saeed Al Nazari

    Service: Transport blood for transfusions, mobile pharmacies, and supplies during emergencies

    Size: Around 2ft

    Altitude: 500m

    Max flight speed: 10km/h to 20km/h

    Flight duration: up to 40 minutes

    Max payload: 10kg

    Savings: up to more than 50 per cent of transport time

    Drone name: Fully Automated Parking System

    Maker: Mohammad Darweesh and team

    Service: Monitors parking lots for free spaces and potential violators and penalises then immediately

    Size: “One of the smallest”

    Weight: 1.2kg

    Flight Duration: 25 min

    Savings: Saves manpower as it can scan 120 cars per minute using the Salik tag. The 10-hour duty of every parking inspector can be reduced to a 10-minute job by a drone; saves up to Dh170 million per year in personnel salaries

    Drone name: Sanad

    Maker: Mansour Al Baloushi and team

    Service: Can be used in critical life-saving missions, particularly in beach rescues

    Size: One of the biggest; exact dimensions not released

    Maximum payload: Up to 45kg, but can be modified to carry up to 100kg

    Unique features: Capable of lifting drowning people to safety provided they meet the weight requirement

    Drone name: Wadi

    Maker: Martin Slosarik and team from NYU Abu Dhabi

    Service: Collects data from camera traps spread across Wadi Wurayah National Park lots for free spaces and potential violators and penalises then immediately

    Size: Wingspan 2.4m

    Weight: 2.2kg

    Flight Duration: Up to 1.5 hours

    Range: Up to 40km

    Max payload: 500gm

    Savings: Costs Dh1 million to pay rangers to hike the Wadi Wurayah National Park yearly to collect data from camera traps. Deploying this drone that can collect important data can reduce the cost to 1/10th. The drone can also collect salinity and atmospheric data

    Drone name: Site Inspection

    Maker: Eman Obaid and team

    Service: Monitors construction sites for violations

    Size: 0.6 metre wide, side-to-side

    Weight: 2.5kg

    Flight Duration: 20-25 minutes

    Range: 15km, height of 1km

    Savings: Can save effort in monitoring violations at construction sites, including during mandatory rest periods for summer months

    Highlights of the drones for the national category | GulfNews.com
     
  11. haviZsultan

    haviZsultan PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Living in the UAE I can say that these people are extremely intelligent and may have such a drone soon. Very smart contest and nice pictures and information shared, thanks bhatti.
     
  12. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Sanad Maker: Mansour Al Baloushi and team, Service: Can be used in critical life-saving missions, particularly beach rescues, Size: One of the biggest; exact dimensions not released, Maximum payload: Up to 45kg, but can be modified to carry up to 100kg, Unique features: Capable of lifting drowning people to safety provided they meet the weight

    [​IMG]
    Site inspection, Maker: Eman Obaid and team, Service: Monitors construction sites for violations, including during mandatory rest periods for summer months, Size: 0.6 metre wide, Weight: 2.5kg, Flight duration: 20-25 minutes, Range: 15km, height of 1km

    [​IMG]
    Wadi Maker: Martin Slosarik and team from NYU Abu Dhabi, Service: Collects data from camera traps spread across Wadi Wurayah National Park, Size: Wingspan 2.4m, Weight: 2.2kg, Flight duration: Up to 1.5 hours, Range: Up to 40km, Max payload: 500gm, Savings: While it costs Dh1 million annually to pay rangers to collect data from camera traps. This drone can do it at 1/10th the cost. It can also collect salinity and atmospheric data.

    [​IMG]
    Health sector Maker: Mishal Al Marzouqi, Saeed Al Nazari Service: Transport blood for transfusions, mobile pharmacies, and supplies during emergencies Size: Around 2 feet Altitude: 500m Flight speed: 10- 20km/h Flight duration: 40 minutes Max payload: 10kg Savings: up to 50 per cent (or more) of transport time
     
  13. Al Bhatti

    Al Bhatti SENIOR MEMBER

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    February 8, 2015

    [​IMG]
    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs, at the Drones for Good finals.

    Blue-sky thinkers top Drones for Good

    Telecommunications company Etisalat took first prize at this weekend’s Drones for Good finals with its device to enhance the quality of network coverage.

    Etisalat was one of five government entities to reach the finals of the competition, which featured national, international and government entries.

    Also honoured were the Ministry of Interior and a UAE team’s project to monitor wildlife and collect photos.

    Salem Al Marri, 20, was one of a host of Emirati students to stand up against industry’s heavy-hitters at the competition.

    The third-year electronics student from Dubai Men’s College is head of Emirates Robotics Club, based at the college. He led a team on a project commissioned by the Ministry of Labour which was entered in the government category.

    Its site inspection drone is designed to ensure safety measures such as the use of harnesses, safety boots and monitor living conditions at labour camps.

    The 3 kg device can transmit real time video and remain in the air for up to 20 minutes.

    “It’s been used already, and the ministry told the judges it would be on a daily basis,” said Mr Al Marri.

    He said being part of the competition, win or lose, was a big achievement.

    “Just making the final is like a win, meeting all these people. It’s a great opportunity for us to be here,” he said. “Students are capable of delivering high standard projects and we’ve proved that by being here. I hope there are more competitions like this.”

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, paid tribute to winners and sponsors.

    “The scene of unmanned drones flying in the UAE sky, with each carrying an innovative idea for the service of man, cherishes the message that there is no limit for innovative ideas,” he said.

    Fahad Al Shaibani is another of the Emirati students who did the country proud at the competition where each category winner landed a Dh1m prize.

    The 20-year-old from Khalifa University was part of a team that created a site inspection drone for the national section

    More than 800 entries were submitted but only five in each category were chosen for the finals.

    Mr Shaibani and his team developed a drone to help enforce regulations at labour camps, from ensuring employees take their midday break to sites operating outside permitted hours and building work that exceeded permitted boundaries.

    The device is also capable of post construction inspections, its creators said.

    Mr Al Shaibani said: “We were looking at the municipalities [as possible clients] and it’s a hard job that’s very time consuming and covering a huge area.”

    The drone, which would cost between Dh20,000 and Dh30,000, has a live internet feed capacity and can provide three-dimensional imagery of a building site.

    Iman Hableel, 26, recently graduated from Khalifa University with her master’s in information security.

    She was also on the inspection drone team and said that beating competition from industry was the highlight of the event.

    “This is encouraging the students to be innovative, and even the companies and industries are being encouraged to adopt the students projects that they see here,” Ms Hableel said. “The competition allows students and experts to come together with industry. It’s a great opportunity.”

    Mishal Al Marzooqi, who works for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, was a member of the Emirati team that built a drone for the Dubai Health Authority to take medicine to special-needs patients and deliver first aid kits and blood supplies in cases of emergency. “Those with special needs have challenges to get to the hospital every time,” he said. “You register online and the medicine is delivered to your home once you scan your ID.”

    The flying device can deliver medicine to up to 10 families a day, and would be based at clinics rather than hospitals, so they are closer to residential areas.

    The drone can travel at 70kmph for up to 30 kilometres.

    The first aid kits are complete with live instructions from a specialist at the clinic or hospital who connects by smartphone.

    “This allows anyone to be able to administer emergency first aid,” said Mr Al Marzooqi.

    The idea is also to use the drone for routine administrative purposes such as delivering medical cards and test results.

    The Dh30,000 drone, set up like a mobile pharmacy with temperature control to protect the lifegiving payload, can fly for up to 40 minutes and carry 10kg.

    Blue-sky thinkers top Drones for Good | The National

    -----------------------------

    07/02/2015

    Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of UAE Drones for Good Award

    Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has honoured the winners of various government, national and international categories of the UAE Drones for Good Award.
    Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is an incubator for the talented, and harnessing of the technology in the service of humanity and nation-building.

    He was speaking at the ceremony held to honour the winners of the UAE Drones for Good Award. The event was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of the Cabinet Affairs, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Qamzi and Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of the Protocol and Hospitality Department in Dubai.

    Sheikh Mohammed said, "The scene of unmanned drones flying in the UAE sky, with each carrying an innovative idea for the service of man, cherishes the message that there is no limit for innovative ideas," adding that this award is one of the fruits of previous Government Summit, has made a global impact in the development of premium services.

    He stressed that the new technologies in the form of unmanned drones will present huge opportunities for government and humanitarian services.

    Sheikh Mohammed honoured the projects of the Ministry of Interior, Etisalat, as well as the UAE team's project to monitor the wildlife and collect images. He also honoured the sponsors of the award.

    Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of UAE Drones for Good Award | WAM

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    08/02/2015

    NYU Abu Dhabi Wadi Drone Team Wins National UAE Drones for Good Award

    New York University Abu Dhabi students have taken top honours at the national UAE Drones for Good Award with their Wadi Drone submission, which leverages commercial drone technology and proprietary software for wildlife conservation and environmental protection.

    The Wadi Drone collects data in regions where deploying communications infrastructure would spoil the natural heritage, or present a human risk to physically retrieving data. The Wadi Drone is a fixed wing airplane with a 2.5-metre wingspan carrying a small communications payload that retrieves information from ground-based scientific measurement devices.

    Created by the UAE Government, the UAE Drones for Good Award invited the most innovative and creative minds from around the world to find solutions that will improve people’s lives and provide positive technological solutions to modern day issues. The National competition is dedicated to rewarding the best, most practical ideas for using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technologies to improve government services in the Emirates.

    The Wadi Drone team is comprised of four NYUAD students: Martin Slosarik, Ting-Che Lin, Vasily Rudchenko, Kai-erik Jensen. Matt Karau, a visiting instructor and research associate, is the team’s faculty adviser. The team collaborated with the Emirates Wildlife Society and the country’s first national park, Wadi Wurayah National Park located in Fujairah, on the development of the Wadi Drone.

    Martin Slosarik, studying electrical engineering at NYUAD, said, "We developed the idea for this project in careful consideration of where drones can and should exist to do good for the benefit of society. It is a great honour to win the national UAE Drones for Good Award, and we applaud the UAE Government and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for creating a competitive environment that invites thinkers and tinkerers from around the world to deeply consider the role drones may play in achieving innovative solutions and positive outcomes for humanity." In Wadi Wurayah National Park the drone flies over mountains and through valleys to wirelessly download photographs taken by ground-based camera traps that automatically capture images of wildlife as they pass in front of the camera’s motion sensor. The Wadi Drone serves the conservation efforts of the Emirates Wildlife Society both by increasing the rate at which photographic data of wildlife and potential poachers can be analysed by experts, and by reducing the human risk associated with the current method of hiking to retrieve photos from remote camera traps. Wadi Drones further eliminate the need to employ an expensive helicopter to reach camera traps during the summer months when the heat makes it too dangerous to hike.

    Working with the Emirates Wildlife Society, the team will use the AED 1 million prize to implement the Wadi Drone project in Wadi Wurayah National Park, and will look to expand the programme regionally, and internationally.

    NYU Abu Dhabi Wadi Drone Team Wins National UAE Drones for Good Award | WAM
     
  14. AsianUnion

    AsianUnion SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistani Punjab Police already using them for Motorway petrol and development construction purposes in Punjab province.
     
  15. Imran Khan

    Imran Khan PDF VETERAN

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    then again you need humans to operate it hahahahah lazy humans