I had the unique opportunity to experience first-hand how drones are paving te way to battle poaching. I was invited to view a drone flight at the Dinokeng nature reserve. With my friendly host Robby and his colleagues, we explored how this technology works.
With the drone in the air, we discussed numerous topics and what challenges they face to fly these machines. With the harsh working conditions of the bushveld and technical challenges that they face. It was clear to me that their ultimate goal of building a robust platform was slowly becoming a reality.
It is important the drone match the following criteria.
- Affordable to manufacture and maintain.
- Parts should be easily available.
- The plane must be able to tolerate numerous crashes and harsh landing.
- If something breaks it should be easily amended. (e.g Duck Tap if necessary)
- Quick to launch
Over the years they have built up a wealth of knowledge on how to achieve these goals. With all this in mind, we took som great aerial shots of our surrounding.
We also played around with some night vision FLIR technologies
It was a great experience and we are looking forward to using video and image recognition technologies on these systems.