DJI challenge: Improve drone search and rescue

May 27, 2016  - By 1 Comments

Drone-maker DJI and Shapeways, a 3D printing service and marketplace, are challenging designers to create unique 3D printed accessories for drones to improve search-and-rescue products and make it easier to help save lives.

DJI wants to encourage creativity and enable its customers to design their own products through its Software Development Kit. Since 2013, drone enthusiasts have used Shapeways to create add-ons for their personal drones and offer them for sale in the Shapeways marketplace.

DJI’s Phantom 4 with its integrated camera and long range can be used as a search drone. DJI said the challenge is to make it the “ultimate rescue drone.”

For instance, severe weather and rough waters are classic hallmarks of ocean rescue, complicating an already challenging rescue operation — finding a person or a vessel in a large area of water.

By adding 3D-printed accessories that can improve a drone’s visibility, carry payloads and land on water, first responders could cover more area, cutting response times while monitoring difficult waters.

“This challenge means more lives could be saved with fewer first responders put at risk,” said Eli Morgan Harris, DJI business development director. “The 3D-printed drone modification products developed through this challenge could make a huge difference — even save lives.”

In Europe, the POSEIDRON UAV took top honors in the 2015 European Satellite Navigation Competition with its remote-controlled multicopter built to support maritime search-and-rescue services.

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Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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