Four New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) students have taken top honors at the national level of the United Arab Emirates' Drones for Good competition.
The students' winning Wadi Drone leverages commercial drone technology and proprietary software for wildlife conservation and environmental protection. Working with the Emirates Wildlife Society, the team will use the AED 1 million (around $272,000) prize to implement the Wadi Drone project in Wadi Wurayah National Park and will look to expand the program regionally and internationally.
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 aircraft, a fixed-wing airplane with a 2.5-meter wingspan, carries a small communications payload that retrieves information from ground-based scientific measurement devices.
The Wadi Drone team comprises four NYUAD students: Martin Slosarik, Ting-Che Lin, Vasily Rudchenko and 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.
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 rewards the best, most practical ideas for using unmanned aerial vehicle technologies to improve government services in the Emirates.
Read about the competition’s international winner, Flyability, here.
Photo courtesy of NYUAD