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Drones that Deliver

The use of drones to provide the basics for rural communities that lack the road infrastructure to access resources.

Photo of April Finney

Written by

Drones are not longer simply used as a form of military defence. They are increasingly accesable and have various different uses. Building upon the reasearch 'water vaccine and work', this idea solves two of the core problems presented by this research, that is accessability to water and vaccines. The research suggests that access to these basics is essential in early childhood development.

This idea proposes that drones are used to deliver these essentials to rural communities that would otherwise not have access to, or the limited access would be timely and costly.

http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/307900/beyond-warfare-12-non-lethal-uses-for-drones

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Children in rural communities the cannot easily access water or vaccines without extensive travels.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Partnerships and funding are the key factors to consider with any form of assistance. This begins with a partner with the funding to provide these communities with the resources that they need, from food/water to vaccines and learning supplies. Secondly the price of basic drones has continued to drop over the last year, meaning that funding for drones would be dramatically lower in the future, making them more accessible and viable as a transport option.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • This idea is meant to inspire. I hope someone else takes it on!

This inspired (1)

One for One

14 comments

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Photo of Irene Blas
Team

use technology to learn more rural communities and how to help them and their needs is very important. Most developed countries should learn from this to put in operation.

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Halo April - this is an exciting line of though .. I was got a chance to attend -> http://www.tech4resilience.blogspot.com/ ...global workshops on emerging tech 23rd Oct Nairobi .. "How Might Emerging Technology Strengthen Urban Resilience?" <--- this was what we were looking at in relation to low income urban sets .. Kindly check it out ..

Check out this too :) ..
Lemmi know how it can be improved..

https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/community-empathy-maps

Photo of April Finney
Team

thanks, love your empathy map idea, look forward to seeing its progression

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Thanks April, am inviting you to join the team .. Your knowledge on the used of drones for rural communities will come in handy .. Especially on mapping, and data related brainstorming..

Photo of April Finney
Team

I ook forward to collaborating further

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi April. Good idea to move essentials to inaccessible places! Do you know of any work that has been done already? Will check Meena's link below - maybe that details some things. Vaccines must be kept at a certain temperature, a cold chain must be maintained, or they become spoiled and cannot be used as they won't be effective. Would be interesting to find out of this has been tested, or even used in the field already.

Photo of April Finney
Team

some great insight has been posted on this idea, will definitely add the extra details.

Photo of Bianca Sandiko
Team

Wonderful share, April. Nice - your idea immediately inspired useful directions and thought-engaging add ons from the community

From listening to what has been collectively discussed so far, here's one opportunity that might be worth considering and exploring when moving this idea forward: Test users emotional or cultural responses to drones (for useable insights that might inform more empathetic as well as kid and family friendly prototypes)

As you, Usha and Meena have shown, there is a market and ongoing interest for drones to this context of utility and development aid, which I'm definitely in support of. Equally, I'm reminded that there are cases in which drones face controversial perceptions especially in human rights contexts. Such as, for some developing nations, the communities and/or families of casualty victims from military drone strikes might still have attached stigmas impacted by those negative and traumatic experiences, which could possibly be a context that might inform/trigger resistance as well as reactions of fear, anxiety and contempt to drones

Sharing as a "food for thought" reference, these are some victim stories and quotes from Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinics that may be useful in being empathetic of the different plausible user reactions that drones might encounter in cultural contexts and certain conflict realities faced by some low-income communities of developing regions: http://www.livingunderdrones.org/victim-stories/

One other value in testing user reactions to drones comes from considering how the lack of differentiation or distinctiveness between drone designs seems ineffective to clearly signal their priority, which is in thinking of the reports of a young boy in the US who was assaulted for playing with his toy drone as it was mistaken for being a surveillance type drone. Can most end-users (in this case, low-income communities of developing regions) distinguish and immediately perceive the difference between what is a threatening drone versus a non-threatening drone?

In considering these testable concerns, one essential part of this idea may institute the need for improved drone redesigns; e.g., empathetic forms - less intimidating and invasive - without compromising the effectiveness of their technical proficiency such as, if designed for the context of distributing vaccines, incorporating Bettina's important feedback of what is necessary for transporting medicine

Photo of April Finney
Team

thanks for the insight, I had never even really considered the negative implications

Photo of Nik Miljkovic
Team

Contrary to what others have commented, I had not heard or even thought of this before! Although it may be used sparingly at the moment, this form of transportation of essentials for children needs to develop some momentum. Too often do we hear about the inability to get resources to those that dearly need them. As Usha mentioned below, apparently this is already used for disaster relief efforts - but why do we need to wait for a disaster to occur to use such technologies?

I recently came across this: http://www.waterislife.com/media/videos which provides people without drinking water with filter paper in the form of a book that gives them vital information about the dangers of drinking contaminated water. From what I have found, drones do not seem to be able to carry significant loads at a time. However, with further collaboration among society, ideas such as drone delivery and 'the drinkable book' can come together to further increase the way in which we are able to help those in need.

I just hope it is sooner rather than later!

Photo of April Finney
Team

Thanks for the contribution. I'll add it to my idea, looks like a great way to ensure drinking water is accessible!

Photo of Usha Periyanayagam
Team

There are a couple of people doing this already especially in humanitarian aid or disaster relief. Look at the drones for good prize out of UAE, Matternet, sensefly to name a few. There are definitely some drawbacks that need to be addressed, but the concept is out there.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Fascinating provocation, April. In fact IDEO.org has been exploring the use of drones in health and international development too: http://www.ideo.org/stories/last-mile-drone-delivery

Tip: to activate links in your post, hit the Update Entry button up there on the right, then follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/oi_link  

Photo of April Finney
Team

thanks!