Drone to map flood prone villages in Malawi
A student team at University of Twente is developing a drone to map the area and deliver medication to the affected areas. The drone mapping helps to keep track of accessible roads to the flood prone villages in the lake area of Malawi.
Improved drone technology
The Aerobotic Tech Team Twente student team (A3T) got involved in the developing this drone as a participant of the IMechE UAS Challenge (UK). The team wanted to improve drone technology and link it with social impact.
In this case the students decided to team up with the foundation Transport4transport, which organises bicycle ambulance services to villages in the African country.
For this special purpose the drone team started to develop a prototype that can fly both horizontally and vertically with a short take-off distance. The drone will be equipped with tilting rotors so its propellers can change from a horizontal position for taking off, to a vertical position for cruising. This allows the drone to explore and map the area.
No maps available
Due to frequent flooding in the lake area, the environment is constantly changing and the inhabitants are difficult to reach for medical assistance. The roads between villages are difficult to pass and often can only be travelled on foot, by motorcycle or by bicycle, which makes transport to a medical post or hospital difficult. In addition, villages shift as they are rebuilt after floods, so that there is no current map of the area.
By means of drones, the student team wants to map the area again so it becomes more accessible.
The team not only wants to deliver the drones to the villages, but also for the residents to maintain the drones themselves. In this way long-term continuation of the drone project is ensured. For the construction of the final drone, the team is hoping to raise ten thousand euros with the help of crowdfunding. In May the students have planned to visit Malawi to test the drone.