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Education, Drones, Robotics, Maker Culture in Camps & Villages: Mobile Innovation Labs

Education: teach maker skills, electronics, programming, drone and robotmaking for protection, communication and development of DIY helper services. Mobile labs teach skills and rapidly share new tools and techniques. Drones for good + maker culture!

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EDUCATION + Drones & Robotics = DIY SOLUTIONS

Millions of kids grow up in remote villages. There's risk of going out to collect water and wood, especially after dark, because there's no way to track or map where militias and warlords are torching homes in your area. The fear can be eased with information and support, provided by a mix of humans and drones.

Drones provide a way to draw fire and attention away from civilian populations while presenting a potential threat. Equipping drones with many types of true and disguised or false capacities creates a flying smokescreen that can operate like a human shield.

By flying low to the ground drones can be used to intimidate potential threats while assessing theirfirepower. As the cost of drone replacement can be much lower thanlosing human lives, humans will learn to support DIY Drones in their community to add to the smokescreen of airborne protection agents. Less than 1 in 100 drones need to include any weaponry as long as all of the drones look like they could be used in any number of ways.

Drone and Robot Camps within villages and existing refugee camps can provide a hands-on learning opportunity, a mobile makerspace to work with autonomous and controlled vehicles with existing DIYDrones architecture and emerging drone programmingplatforms that will be open and available later this year. Short term guests to the region can teach groups that can then go out and workwith villagers in more remote areas to set up communications support and basic ability to work with the drones for emergency drops and incident intervention. A mobile innovation lab unit within a container can be utilized for ongoing training support and travelwithin a large region with a small staff ofengineer/maker/programmers providing the initial education to supportprotection agents. See container prototypes at http://pinterest.com/amoration/ID8

Primary functions:

  • Emergency drops of medicine, tablets and communications equipment into prone regions

  • Ability to wirelessly monitor situations in remote areas by air, with visibility night or day

  • Synchronized unarmed systems can be used to form drone shields to draw fire and reduce the amount of ammunition available for use against civilian populations

  • Solar drones allow for long term monitoring in automated patrol groups, providing ongoing intel in regions hard to reach by vehicles without risking human lives

  • Communications equipment and tablets can be utilized for future emergencies, learning and educational exchanges along with media capture as needed

  • Educational access and opportunities to create local protection and delivery services by utilizing new and existing technologies in a new context

FLYING ROBOTIC STRENGTHS:

* Ability to capture media and wirelessly monitor situations in remote areas by air, with visibility night or day

* Light cargo can be delivered up to 10 miles away (tablets, comm, medicine) by small DIY drones

* Drones provide a safer way to draw fire and attention away from civilian populations while presenting a unknown threat, a shield of mysterious capabilities

* Choreographed flights can look like air shows and can include LED lighting and unique inspiring art maneuvers, creating well-lit safe zones and inspiring technological opportunities

* Equipping drones with many types of true and disguised or false capacities creates a flying smokescreen that can operate to shield human targets. Smokescreens can be projected on to send messages via video to groups....video floating in the sky.

* By flying low to the ground drones can buzz to intimidate and slow down potential threats while assessing their firepower

* Seedbombing areas to grow new crops in neighboring regions can happen in tandem with monitor flights

* Environmental testing in hard-to-reach or contaminated areas is much easier to undertake - water and soil samples can be gathered by drones in unsafe areas for humans

* DIY and testing patterns allow for emergency capacity building, preparing for supplies up to a few tons to be delivered by large drones into hard-to-reach areas after disaster or conflict

WEAKNESSES

* Drones currently lack battery and solar power capacities for long distance flights with cargo

* As the cost of drone replacement can be much lower than losing human lives, humans will want to learn to support the DIY Drones in their community to add diversity to the skies.

* Regulations will take time and be difficult to maintain across borders and materials may be hard to come by for the first few years.

* Power and payload capacities need to increase to allow for useful medical applications or airlifting out - needs local experimentation in community


THREATS:

* Drones will be used by all sides in any conflict as resources are stolen and repurposed.

* Capabilities and intimidating external design may vary depending on interest and capacity

* Politically challenging in some areas and may cause internal disruption unless seeded from grassroots movements with significant traction (popping up everywhere at once)





How does your idea gather AND verify information? How does your idea keep those who use it safe?

Can we shift the balance and help give people a sense of personal power through UAVs? I think so! The military officials that worked on the drone programs seems to think so too. Drones can be equipped to gather information using cameras, sound recording equipment, night vision lenses and any number of lightweight surveillance options. Verification can be remote controlled with zoom lenses for getting details. Drones will be used by all sides in any conflict as resources are stolen and repurposed. By providing a broad education in how to work with these tools we can empower a new generation of makers to take on creation challenges and build new businesses while protecting themselves with useful tools. Mobile medicine and media can grow from this seed as formerly displaced or vulnerable tribes are given mechanical support where few men and women have dared to venture. Potential business and community applications to be built in conjunction would include: * Base of communications with a center for engagement (can be a semi-permanent dome or simple structure) with mesh systems empowered by http://wirelessafrica.meraka.org.za/wiki/index.php/DIY_Mesh_Guide * Tablets and tech applications to include educational curriculum via EDDEFY, collaboration tools for easy engagement with global leaders (could be GOOGLE or other sponsor-related option) * Drone and robot repair and technical businesses to support new systems

How might your idea be designed to scale and spread to help as many people as possible?

DIYDrones provides an open source platform to share how to build new drones and robotics from existing parts. Innovation labs around the world have been playing with these concepts and UNICEF has empowered innovation labs around the world to be centers for engagement and education. OPPORTUNITIES: * DIY Maker Camps within existing refugee camps can provide a hands-on learning opportunity, a mobile makerspace to work with autonomous and controlled vehicles with the existing DIYDrones architecture and emerging drone programming platforms that will be open and available later this year. * Short term guests to the region can teach workshops for groups that go out and work with camps and villages to set up communications support and droneshops for emergency drops, monitoring and comm for intervention. There's interest in building an educational center in Ethiopia to support ongoing research and training connected to AI and programming for humanitarian aid. I'm designing the edtech tools to power the mobile curriculum path. UNICEF and a handful of global orgs are working with an aligned approach to innovation centers.

How might your idea make use of exisiting technology? Has your idea been tried in a different or related context?

* A mobile innovation lab unit within a container can be utilized for ongoing training support and travel within a large region with a small staff of engineer/maker/programmers providing the initial education to support robotic agents - communications support built-in for ongoing, portable solutions * Mobile medicine and media can be empowered as formerly displaced, cut-off or vulnerable tribes can receive support and deliveries. * By providing a broad education in how to work with drones and tools we can empower a new generation of makers to take on creation challenges and build new businesses while creating support for themselves * Solar drones could allow for long term monitoring in automated patrol groups, providing ongoing intel in regions hard to reach by vehicles without risking human lives ReAllocate, DIYDrones and a new startup creating a programming language for open drone development have been in touch this week and contributed ideas for this list along with my team at EDDEFY and my husband Brent over at the Toyshoppe. ReAllocate tested drones last year in the harsh desert for small deliveries and other teams have tested larger payloads.

How could you begin prototyping this idea in a simple way to begin testing and refining it? Who would use your idea and/or who is using it now? Is your idea technically easy medium or hard to implement?

There are teams with experience that can subvert the military POV. North's team at ReAllocate includes many scrappy NGO engineer/volunteers willing to go to the far corners of the earth to help others. Students at schools with innovation labs like our team at Singularity University are prime places to test out and build new applications for this platform and technology exchange program. The educational tools will need to update over time with robust peer and expert learning opportunities integrated using EDDEFY.

How is your idea adapted for conditions in hard-to-access areas, such as lack of internet and mobile access? Can users adopt it without much behavior change?

Providing tablets, communications centers, innovation labs, workshops and educational programs for technology will include some behavior change and this will be encouraging people to build new businesses and opportunities for their future in tandem with the rest of the world. This form of connection has both benefits and drawbacks and will thrust some into global engagement in a way that will be both challenging and rewarding for their community. I believe this can be a platform to build new businesses and grow microenterprise into new technology leadership.

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