$1 million prize goes to collision-resistant search and rescue drone
A drone designed to help with search and rescue operations has won the top prize of $1 million in the Drones for Good contest. The contest was held in the United Arab Emirates and when we mentioned Drones for Good a couple of weeks ago, we highlighted the Gimball entry from Flyability. It seems it wasn't just us that was impressed with this drone, as Gimball went on to win!
The Swiss drone was designed as "the world's first collision-tolerant flying robot" and it can help with search and rescue operations without fear of damaging itself or people in the area.
Like other drones, Gimball offers incredible maneuverability, but the design here is unique. Surrounded by a geodesic cage which makes Gimball look a little like a flying gyroscope, the rugged framework keeps the drone itself safe from collisions whilst also protecting humans in the vicinity. Team leader Patrick Thevoz said:
We struggled to find funding to develop our search and rescue drone but this UAE Government Summit initiative, Drones for Good, means we can commercially develop our project within a year, and with Flyability able to go where it is dangerous for rescuers, help save lives.
The Drones for Good Award is the first of its kind. It is inspirational, because while there are many awards for academic research there aren't many for the social application of new technology. It allows passionate teams like us to move forward and make this a reality. The Drones for Good Award is a unique opportunity to help people realize that these flying machines are capable of positively impacting society.
The financial prize will be a great help to getting Gimball into production, so it shouldn't be long before we see more in action, helping out where they are needed most.