The good drone rev­o­lu­tion

Tech­nol­ogy in it­self is nei­ther good nor bad, it’s what you do with it that makes the dif­fer­ence. And we are just at the be­gin­ning of what’s pos­si­ble

Gulf News - - The Views -

Grow­ing up, I fol­lowed my par­ents all over the world in their in­ter­na­tional ca­reers as med­i­cal doc­tors. I saw places filled with chal­lenges, I saw places filled with op­por­tu­ni­ties. Of­ten these places were far apart and not con­nected. In the 1990s, where you lived de­ter­mined your op­por­tu­ni­ties for health care, ed­u­ca­tion and many other fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights. Fin­ish­ing col­lege 20 years later, I re­alised that many of these fun­da­men­tal chal­lenges re­mained, but with to­day’s tech­nol­ogy, there is scope to tackle these chal­lenges in a dif­fer­ent and bet­ter way.

Around this time, a video of the first pizza de­liv­ery by drone was cir­cu­lat­ing on the in­ter­net and I was fly­ing drones my­self for fun to cap­ture beau­ti­ful pho­tos. I was sit­ting in a plane on my way from Zam­bia back to Swe­den and re­alised that surely these drones could be used for more im­por­tant things, like de­liv­er­ing med­i­cal sup­plies to hard-to-reach ar­eas or cap­ture real-time images of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters to guide emer­gency teams on the ground. On that air­craft nap­kin the first busi­ness plan for GLOBHE was drafted and the Good Drone Rev­o­lu­tion was born. To­day, we are us­ing drones as tools to solve some of the world’s most press­ing chal­lenges, while im­prov­ing our client op­er­a­tions at the same time. Our clients range from the United Na­tions to some of the most no­table cor­po­ra­tions in the world. We have built a global part­ner net­work work­ing with drone pi­lots all over the world to utilise the fact that thou­sands of drones are fly­ing around in our skies ev­ery day. Never be­fore have we had ac­cess to so much data. Never be­fore have we had ac­cess to fea­si­ble sky de­liv­ery when roads are not an op­tion. We are con­stantly in­no­vat­ing on the huge po­ten­tial of this mo­men­tum to cre­ate so­lu­tions for peo­ple and the planet, when and where they re­ally mat­ter. We trans­port med­i­cal cargo to hard-to-reach places in min­utes, in­stead of hours, and con­nect drones to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) to faster an­a­lyse drone pho­tos from

Ev­ery year 218 mil­lion peo­ple are af­fected by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. Ev­ery year nat­u­ral dis­as­ters cost over $ 170 bil­lion. Fast and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion is needed to save lives and min­imise dam­ages.

nat­u­ral dis­as­ters to bet­ter re­spond to a cur­rent cri­sis and to pre­vent one to­mor­row.

Ev­ery year, 218 mil­lion peo­ple are af­fected by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. Ev­ery year, nat­u­ral dis­as­ters cost more than $170 bil­lion (Dh625.26 bil­lion). Fast and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion is needed to save lives and min­imise dam­ages. And ev­ery year, 11 mil­lion chil­dren die, mainly from preventable causes. Fail­ure to reach pa­tients in time with med­i­cal sup­plies such as vac­cines, an­tibi­otics and mi­cronu­tri­ent sup­ple­men­ta­tion re­sult in mil­lions of preventable deaths each year. Preventable deaths cause $6 tril­lion in lost eco­nomic wel­fare in low and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries ev­ery year.

Ex­ist­ing so­lu­tions are many times too slow and too costly. Med­i­cal sup­plies of­ten take too long to trans­port via roads and end up be­ing costly. When nat­u­ral dis­as­ters strike, emer­gency teams on the ground strug­gle to get an over­view of the sit­u­a­tion with satel­lite images lag­ging in time and he­li­copters or air­craft be­ing too ex­pen­sive to be pressed into ser­vice. Drones have the po­ten­tial to solve these prob­lems since they can re­duce trans­porta­tion times from hours to min­utes, reach places that are oth­er­wise im­pos­si­ble to get to and quickly gather large amounts of im­age­based data. This means drones can save lives, time and money.

We don’t make drones, we make drones work, when and where they are re­ally needed. We are on a mis­sion to im­prove 218 mil­lion lives ev­ery year by bring­ing to the world fea­si­ble drone ser­vices that make a dif­fer­ence. We have merged al­ready ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy, ap­plied it in a new way, and made devel­op­ments were needed. Tech­nol­ogy in it­self is nei­ther good nor bad, it’s what you do with it that makes the dif­fer­ence. And we are just at the be­gin­ning of what’s pos­si­ble!

■ He­lena Sam­sioe is CEO and founder of GLOBHE.

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