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 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.

Global Forum

Harvard's Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop, June 24 - 30, 2019

HI everyone, Harvard's Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Programs Workshop is open for registration, taking place from June 24 - 30, 2019 at the Harvard Campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. http://hhi.harvard.edu/education/workshops/remote-sensing In its fifth year, this training course provides humanitarian professionals the basic skills and knowledge required to use remote sensing technologies, such as satellites and drone imagery as well as GIS fundamentals, as part of humanitarian operations.…

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Open Call for Comments, Ideas on the Code of Conduct

Following up from Patrick's post, the Signal Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is starting its outreach to the UAViators community for comment on the current state of the Code of Conduct. We've written more about our approach on our blog, but in short we've reached out to some of the key contributors and organizations from last year's meeting and earlier ones. In terms of gaps in the current version of the CoC: Duty of care (language/concept) AI ethics Detailing data lifecycles…

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New: Online course on Cargo Drones

Dear All, We're pleased to announce the upcoming launch of our newest online course, which several colleagues at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have already taken.  The course draws on the collective lessons learned and best practices in the use of cargo drones in public health during the past 5 years, including the most recent insights and real-world deployments. As such, the course combines WeRobotics' first-hand experience in operational cargo drone…

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UAViators launches partnership with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

We're excited to announce our new partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Our colleagues at HHI will be taking the lead in collaborating with members of UAViators to revise and update the Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct: UAVCode, one of the flagship programs of UAViators. We very much welcome HHI's leadership to ensure that the Code of Conduct remains up-to-date and that the process of updating said Code continues to be an open, transparent and multi-stakeholder process as…

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Chris Brown, Rick Thompson and Kevin Slade joined Humanitarian UAV Network
Ashok Sarath Chandra Reddy Irigi, Kengmun Yue, Raphael Brechard and 1 more joined Humanitarian UAV Network
Apr 17
Bradford Johnson, Veronika Jorz, Sinan Yucel and 5 more joined Humanitarian UAV Network
Apr 12