Welcome to UAViators

UAViators (pronounced You-Aviators)

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

With well over 2,500 members in 80+ countries, our mission is to promote the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs for data collection, cargo delivery and communication services 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 humanitarian & development partners. We actively promote community engagement and educate UAV operators. We convene Experts Meetings and facilitate information sharing, coordination and learning across all our efforts. Our pilot roster includes 400+ UAV pilots and our partnership with Air-Vid gives us access to 600+ vetted pilots in 60+ 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 after disasters; and catalyze research & information sharing. To pursue these objectives, we co-organized the first ever Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting at the UN Secretariat and held this meeting again in 2015 at MIT. We also taught the first ever Humanitarian UAV training courses in Europethe US and Nepal 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. 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. Join ongoing conversations by adding yourself to the Email-List.
  4. Post announcements to the Forum. Use the email-list instead if you're looking for input.
  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 book, Digital Humanitarians, has already been endorsed by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, United Nations, Red Cross, Work Bank and more. The book features members of UAViators in action.

Global Forum

Crowdsourcing UAV-Collected Imagery for Humanitarian Relief Missions

UAV imagery-collection in humanitarian and disaster relief missions is becoming increasingly common. UAV's introduce a unique capability to traditional imagery collection methods. They can fly under thick cloud cover, an obstacle in high-resolution natural-color satellite imagery. They are also cheaper to operate more readily available, and more mobile than manned aircraft. As micro payload technology evolves, UAV imagery resolution and spatial accuracy increases.  But imagery alone is only…

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Largest Survey Yet Confirms Aid Groups in Favor of Using UAVs

Hi All, as Founder of UAViators and co-founder of WeRobotics, I've been working closely with FSD on a number of UAV research projects including the survey below. The survey results have at last been made public and they have direct relevance to our work as the leading and largest global community of practice in the humanitarian UAV space. To read the summary of the results and the report itself, kindly click here.

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World Bank: Call for Interest - Field Testing UAVs in Small Island States

Dear All, Please find here the World Bank's official Call for Interest to field-test UAVs for a range of humanitarian applications in the Asia Pacific.  Given that I'm part of the WB Team that is organizing and evaluating these field tests, I am not in position to reply to any questions related to this call for interest. Please follow the guidelines in the attached should you have any questions and note that the new deadline is Sept 26th. Thank you, Patrick

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3 Replies · Reply by Trevor Bergmann Sep 8

Research into innovation of social UAV ventures

Hi all! As an McsBA (Rotterdam) I'm doing research into innovation of social UAV ventures. Mainly, I research the attitudes towards intellectual property rights, the use of open source technology, and motivations to engage in open innovation. The research will show best practices of innovating in a resource-constrained environment for UAV ventures with a social/environmental mission. Also, I hereby aim to stimulate more research in the field that connects technology to social purposes.…

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