The Organising Committee of the UAE Drones for Good Award has announced that 20 national and international contestants have qualified for the semi-final round of the UAE Drones for Good Award.
The award, launched by the UAE’s government during the Second Government Summit in 2014, is the largest of its kind, with a total prize money of Dh4.67 million.
The award is aimed at making the best use of unmanned technology to serve humanity and create happiness in the world.
A total of 1,017 projects were submitted from 165 countries. The 20 semi-finalists come the UAE, Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, the U.S, UK, and Philippines.
Of the semi-finalists, four are meant for environmental purposes, and three each for health and humanitarian sectors. The economy, civil defence, education and logistics sectors each have two semi-finalists.
Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation and Coordinator General the award, noted that the projects addressed challenges faced by a number of sectors, which encourage the use of drones as a low-cost solution.
Among the most interesting national semi-finalists is a UAE-designed “ReefRover” drone which can help marine biologists map and explore underwater ecosystems.
“The ReefRover project has potential benefits for people around the world who live in the vicinity of coral reefs,” team member Hazem Ibrahim said. “By providing access to rich data that fosters wider appreciation for the delicate balance of reef ecosystems, we envision a future with more mindful coastal development practices and responsible use of the oceans.”
Other entries include drones to inspect solar panels, rescue stranded explorers, map nuclear radiation, support blind athletes, check infestations in date plantation, look for defects in passenger aircraft and examine water pollution.
The winners will be on announced on February 7 following live demonstrations in front of a panel of international judges and a ceremony in Internet City.