Project Dragonfleye working together with Shadowview in conservation

Dragonfleye On behalf of the Shadowview Foundation, we have been working in South Africa for the last two months to develop an anti-poaching multicopter drone as well as training rangers in the Kruger National Park into operating drones. After a week of constructing the drones, we went to a Private Game Reserve near Kruger Park to start the first training period as well as testing our prototype drone. This prototype consisted of an infrared camera that can be used at night by rangers on patrol in search of poachers. During this period, we successfully trained different people into operating multicopters as well as getting a lot of feedback on what our prototype needed to improve on. We had more than enough to work on when we would get back.
On our way back from Kruger Park, we passed Hazyview to stay with The Goodwork Foundation for a few days. This Foundation consists of a technical education centre that gives schools from rural areas around Hazyview an introduction to all sorts of technology. During a period of three days, we gave interactive presentations as well as demonstrations to classes from different schools around Hazyview. Introducing the poaching problem to these children was very important to us, as well as showing them the drone in action. Some of them had never seen themselves on screen before, so this lead to some interesting reactions!
During the following weeks, we started improving the prototype to the needs of the ranger. We found that the drone has to work as autonomously as possible which meant that the prototype underwent a whole metamorphoses. After two weeks of intense testing, we concluded with a successful demonstration at Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary, where we showed the advantage that a ranger can have over a poacher using this technology. We believe to have built a drone that has unmatched specifications and is ready to put to work. The system consists of a low-budget infrared camera, a function in which the drone will follow the operator autonomously and has a flight endurance of over half an hour, which is plenty for a Rapid Response Drone. The drone can be set to fly on GPS waypoints, which means that it can fly over a series of geographically pinpointed locations autonomously. It is also fairly light, small enough to fit on a backpack and easy to operate as it can take off and land on itself.
Because of this progress, we are now setting up a demonstration with some interested Game Reserves. We also have a demonstrative video which explains the process of how the drone works at night. After the demonstration, we will visit different parks to educate more rangers into operating multicopter drones.

Link to Infrared Demonstration:

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