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. In 2019, we partnered with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to revise and update UAVcode. And in 2020, we launched this online training on the use of drones for disaster response.

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.

finding data to test a machine learning platfrom

Dear community,I am a student of international development currently doing a thesis on the use of crowdsourcing, transfer learning and human-machine systems to improve image recognition architectures for disaster responses. Giotto, the AI company based in Lausanne where I worked prior to my master just released a pretty cool platfrom (you can check it here), and I would like to test it with some UAV labelled and unlabelled data of places hit by disasters, or refugee settlements, or even user…

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NEW! Online Training on Delivery Drones for Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the use of delivery drones. We're therefore launching our fully updated online training on Delivery Drones for Public Health. We’re pleased to offer this training at the same competitive rate as our online training on Drones in Humanitarian Action to make it more accessible. We’re equally pleased to announce that certificates of completion will now be signed by Direct Relief in addition to MIT, UPenn and WeRobotics.  So what's new with this…

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NEW! Online Training on Drones in Disaster Response

We’re very pleased to announce the launch of our fully updated online training on the use of Drones in Humanitarian Action.  We’ve given this professional training to dozens of international and national disaster management organizations during the past half-decade. We’ve also run this training for both new and highly experienced drone pilots in dozens of countries around the world. The purpose of this training is to make you an effective and responsible team leader when deploying drones in…

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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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1 Reply · Reply by Tomasi Mataiyasi Tuilevu May 1

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