Welcome to UAViators

UAViators (You-Aviators)

"Humanitarian organizations should engage in initiatives like the Humanitarian UAV Network."
          - United Nations (OCHA) Policy Brief 

With over 3,500 members in 120+ countries, our mission is to promote the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs for data collection and cargo delivery in a wide range of humanitarian and development settings. We do this by developing and championing international guidelines for the responsible use of UAVs. We actively promote operational safety and document lessons learned and best practices. We never self-deploy. We only mobilize at the request of established aid and development partners. We actively promote community engagement & educate UAV operators. We convene Experts Meetings and facilitate information sharing, coordination and learning across all our efforts. Our pilot roster includes 600+ UAV pilots in 70+ countries.

Our objectives are thus five-fold: establish clear standards for the responsible use of UAVs and provide up-to-date regulatory information; document lessons learned and best practices; provide hands-on UAV training; inform UAV deployments during disasters; and catalyze research & information sharing. To pursue these objectives, we co-organized the first ever Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting at the UN Secretariat in 2014 and held this meeting again in 2015 at MIT. We taught the first ever Humanitarian UAV training courses in Europethe US and Asia for humanitarian and development professionals. In addition, we convened a high-level policy forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to further develop our international code of conduct. We also joined the Drones in Humanitarian Action research program in 2015. In 2016, we launched WeRobotics to take over the operational responsibilities of UAViators and provide professional training and aerial technologies directly to local partners in developing countries. In 2018, we launched a dedciated website for the Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct: UAVcode.org. And in 2019, we partnered with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to revise and update UAVcode.

To get started:

  1. Please sign up (the private site has member-only features).
  2. Complete your profile and Start Here to make the most of your membership.
  3. Use the Email-List if you're looking for direct input.
  4. Post announcements to the Forum
  5. Read, improve and share our Code of Conduct and Best Practices Guide.
  6. If you're a pilot, please join the Pilot Roster here.


New! Founder Patrick Meier's new TEDx talk on Humanitarian UAVs. See also his book, Digital Humanitarians, which has been praised by experts at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, United Nations, Red Cross, Work Bank and more. The book features members of UAViators in action.

Drones and the Coronavirus: Do These Applications Make Sense?

Do you want to use drones in response to COVID-19? Then read this post, which includes a simple diagram to inform your decision-making. We also published this second post to suggest that drones may add more value later in adjacent crises. We wrote these posts to encourage more critical thinking around the use of drones in response to the pandemic. We don’t have all the answers, of course, but we do have questions on some of the applications that several drone companies and other organizations…

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So You’re Thinking of Using Drones in Response to COVID-19? Why?

We get it. We’ve been there. For many of us, responding to emergencies gives us a sense of purpose and control. It keeps us busy and focused. It shows we care and want to help. All of this is good and healthy. To paraphrase the philosopher Hannah Arendt, the greatest harm in the world is caused not by evil but apathy. So we should cherish the goodwill that springs during disasters. At the same time, this goodwill, this precious human emotion and the precious time it freely offers can have…

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New Open AI Challenge: Mapping Disaster Risk from Aerial Imagery

WeRobotics and partners have carried out a number of Open AI Challenges over the years to help translate aerial data into actionable analytics for decision making. We have held these Open AI Challenges in the South Pacific, for example, and in Tanzania most recently. We now turn our attention to the Caribbean. Communities living in housing that is not up to appropriate construction standards are at the highest risk from a natural disaster. This risk is especially real for people living in…

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Richard Cascarino, Charlotte Wong and Colin Thomson joined Humanitarian UAV Network
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Kaan Aykol, Dr Adam Fish, Katarzyna Chojnacka and 3 more joined Humanitarian UAV Network
Mar 30
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Research Fellow/ Senior Research Fellow in Machine Learning Tools for Huntingtons Disease at UCL
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Avraam Mavridis, Claudia Romeo Gurrea-Nozaleda, Toby Meredith and 11 more joined Humanitarian UAV Network
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Craig S. Dell updated their profile photo
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Craig S. Dell updated their profile
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Craig S. Dell updated their profile photo
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Craig S. Dell updated their profile photo
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Craig S. Dell updated their profile photo
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Craig S. Dell updated their profile photo
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