Design An Anti-Poaching Drone And Win $25,000

Poachers tend to operate in places that are difficult to reach and far from law enforcement. For countries that want to protect their indigenous wildlife, especially the rare and endangeredrhinos whose horns can sell for up to $300,000 in Vietnam, catching poachers and tracking them down can be an overwhelming task.

Kashmir Robotics is an organization set up to counter poachers with drones. Together with theReserve Protection Agency, a wildlife protection non-profit, the South African National Parks, as well as drone companies like Global Unmanned Systems and Design Intelligence, Kashmir Robotics is hosting a contest to design a drone system (so, flying machine plus software) to patrol South Africa’s Kruger National Park on the Mozambique border.

Deadline for entries is December 1st, 2013, and the top prize is a 10-day trip to Kruger National Park and $25,000. The challenge concludes October 4th, 2014, with the winning team invited to test their drone at Kruger.

This isn’t the first technological solution designed to counter poachers. GPS chips in rhinos,remote cameras linked to satellites, and remotely piloted drones have all been proposed as solutions to poaching problems. Drones are an especially promising solution because they can observe from high above and stream footage back to people on the ground (they also help keep those people out of harm’s way).

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