Welcome to UAViators

UAViators (You-Aviators)

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

With close to 3,000 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 500+ 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 provide professional training and aerial technologies directly to local partners in developing countries.

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

Fleet of Cargo UAVs Tested in Amazon Rainforest

Hi All, WeRobotics just released this 30-page report on their most recent field tests in the Amazon Rainforest https://werobotics.org/blog/2017/10/18/fleet-of-cargo-drones-tested-in-amazon-rainforest The project was a partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Health and BD, a leading, multi-billion dollar medical technology company. A total of 44 cargo flights were logged with distances ranging from 2km to 120km. Payloads included medicines, diagnostic tests and blood samples. This report is…

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"Crowdsourcing" drone data for disaster relief?

I am new to the scene, but have an idea bouncing around in my head to somehow allow drone pilots to use data collected to crowdsource information in disaster relief efforts. For example, let's assume we use DJI platforms exclusively for a start. Is there any initiative in place to allow photos, video, images, etc to be centrally uploaded, stitched together in a format that's useful for first responders and locals? I'm picturing street names hybrid satellite photographic images, etc collected…

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1 Reply · Reply by Patrick Meier 14 hours ago

Humanitarian UAV Coordination in the Caribbean

As part of our ongoing collaboration with WFP to build coordination structures for UAV deployments in humanitarian operations, WeRobotics has been assisting with current humanitarian UAV coordination needs throughout the Caribbean. Without strong coordination teams may repeat each other’s work, make easily avoidable regulatory mistakes, or cloister crucial data rather than distributing and sharing it with those who need it to make better decisions. We’re attempting now to continue and deepen…

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