Using Drones to Protect African Rhinos

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Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Airware Founder and CEO Jonathan Downey discusses the use of drones to protect wildlife on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Worked out for you guys.

You sent three people to kenya.

We did for two weeks leading up to christmas.

It turned out really well.

There were a lot of thing we wanted to get out of it in terms of testing a few different vehicles.

We deployed three different aircraft there, a mixed of fixed wing as well as flying wing aircraft.

Tell me how it works.

You use digital imagining, thermal images.

How do you track them?

We flew during the day with zoom cameras as well as flying at night.

During the nighttime operations it's thermal imagining and we used fixed cameras and gimmable cameras and you can fly to an area and survey it and we were able to locate people on the ground as well as animals.

Elephants don't pay much but i wonder what you take away from this?

It's wonderful you are doing this but beyond that?

We said what are some of the applications we want to see happen.

Anti-poaching was one we wrote down.

We thought what are some of the best business cases we think of agriculture, land management, law enforcement, fire response, disaster response, there is such a wide variety of applications.

It's been the motivation for creating the platform others can taylor to a specific market.

What about package delivery?

I think it's going to happen with live ever life saving areas like vaccine delivery.

When you say you are involved in that, does that mean you are talking to amazon?

We are not.

We're focused on applications we think will happen over the next one to three years.

I understand how you picked interesting things.

But were there specific technologies or practices you wanted to take away from the rhino experiment that would be applicable in other scenarios?

We are working on making the aircraft as fully aon the mouse as possible and anybody can use and operate it.

So working with people like the rangers for example so they can operate the vehicle in a very easy to use way and if anything goes wrong the aircraft respond in an intelligent manner.

So for example n africa we had a cable to our radio transmitter severed and lost all communications with the aircraft at one point and it came back and followed it's contingency plan and landed.

What's the latest with the f.c.c.? they are looking at this closely but there are a lot of regulatory hurdles before this could work?

There are rules coming out later this year.

We're pretty involved on what the rules will be and what the standards for who can operate the vehicles as well as safety.

They are doing tests that could go on for many years.

You think standards for small drones will come out before the tests are completed?

The f.a.a. is coming out with rules for small unmanned aircraft before the larger ones and that should be later this year.

Thanks for joining us today

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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