Welcome to UAViators

UAViators (You-Aviators)

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

With over 3,200 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 settingsWe 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.

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.


Global Forum

New UAV Procurement Guide!

Dear All,   I’m excited to share with you an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Procurement Guide I developed that was recently published by the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project.   GHSC-PSM procured UAVs and services to test their use in public health supply chains and we want to share the knowledge we gained through the process with the greater UAV community. The guide contains considerations, specifications, and criteria that can be used to…

Read more…
0 Replies

Inviting Feedback to Update Code of Conduct

In May 2018, WeRobotics co-organized an Experts Meeting on Drones in Humanitarian Action (documented here). One of the key agenda items for this meeting was a review of the International Humanitarian UAV/Drone Code of Conduct and Guidelines (UAVcode.org) with the goal of updating said Code of Conduct by end of 2018. The Code of Conduct (CoC) is an open and transparent community-driven effort. This has been the case since the Code was first launched in 2014. As such, updates to said Code of…

Read more…
0 Replies

Monsoon Drones?

Dear All, Colleagues of ours at a major humanitarian organization are being grounded for days on end because of nonstop rains. These rains are creating several dozen disaster events locally every day. Does anyone know of a reliable and affordable mapping drone that can fly through Monsoon rains and still capture high resolution video/imagery? Many thanks, Patrick

Read more…
12 Replies · Reply by Patrick Meier Jul 2

Humanitarian Drones Experts Meeting: Insights & Next Steps

Thanks to our partners Swissnex and Solve MIT, we recently organized a full day experts meeting on Humanitarian Drones to tackle some of the pressing challenges in this space. The meeting was held at the Swiss Consulate in Boston, situated between MIT and Harvard University. We reviewed the existing Humanitarian UAV / Drone Code of Conduct (UAVcode) in light of recent developments regarding the use of drones in conflict zones and for cargo delivery. We also reviewed the Code of Conduct in light…

Read more…
0 Replies