$65,000 prize for anti-poaching UAV contest winner up for grabs

Is it time for the DIY Drone community to roll up our sleeves and enter a team into this anti-poaching UAV contest?


$65,000 in prizes and an all expenses paid trip for the winning team to the Kruger Park in South Africa for 10 days to fly the design with the real life anti-poaching teams.

We have to have the expertise in this community to win this competition hands down?

Maybe 3D can use some of this newly raised $30 million to offer the winning UAV design a production contract and 3D Robotics can then offer a line of counter poaching UAV's?

Chris, drop me a note if this is of interest and I can send it onto the contest organizers so you can discuss the idea.

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Comment by Nicholas Witham on October 3, 2013 at 7:10pm

hard to find the words to describe how that image makes me feel.




The people that do this should be brought to justice.

Comment by Gary McCray on October 3, 2013 at 8:13pm

I wish you the best of luck.

I suppose the most important tool is going to be long duration, night flying fixed wings with FLIR to spot both the Animals and those in pursuit.

Tridge has also been working (quite successfully) on automated spotting for a contest in Australia.

The $3000.00 per unit challenge is going to be the most difficult obstacle, because the cost of Thermal imaging cameras would eat up all of that by itself and that seems like the single most important feature.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on October 3, 2013 at 8:59pm

Please do not discuss concepts for anti poaching and UA here. The other side is watching. If this degenerates into a do this do that thread I will remove it. 

Comment by crystal garris on October 3, 2013 at 9:23pm
Ifind the taking of human life reprehensible. Not sure how a dead human brings a rino back. The real problem at work is one of poverty. The poachers can make $15g on one horn. This in a place where everage income is less the $1 a day. In order to truly solve the problem, the cause must be addressed. Poaching is just a symptom of a greater problem.
Comment by Chris Peterson on October 3, 2013 at 9:42pm
Can you please remove that picture? Seeing this on the front page of a site I like is helping me not come back...
Comment by Joshua Johnson on October 3, 2013 at 10:10pm

I can't lie the picture makes me scroll down really fast when I go to the homepage so I don't have to see it.

3D Robotics
Comment by Alan Sanchez on October 3, 2013 at 10:35pm

@Nicholas  made me feel the same way.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on October 3, 2013 at 10:37pm

That's exactly it Wayne, already I see issues with the thinking of the organizers as there is no 3G / 4G communications throughout the park and the search area is twice the size of Israel. The cost of the trip to KNP for the winner would be greater than $65K

I think this community would put there efforts better into creating platforms to investigate wildlife crimes local to the member. Plenty of rivers being polluted and habitats under threat.

I deal daily with thoughts around this problem. There is lots going on that the community here does not need to know about.

Comment by Earl on October 3, 2013 at 10:44pm

A slow long range UAV with FLIR might be the thing to use. Putting together a system to do just that is not going to be easy.  hope to see some progress on this. Poaching of any kind needs to be rained in.


Comment by Gisela & Joe Noci on October 3, 2013 at 11:12pm

Wanting to have the picture removed because it disturbs your sensitivities ...My goodness! This is the reality and behaving like an ostrich serves only your own ends.  Poverty has absolutely nothing to do with the problem. Pure greed on the poachers part and arcane witchdoctory on the consumers part IS the problem.These criminal use helicopters and corrupt vets to shoot animals - there is no poverty involved there at all!  The 'poverty' stricken folk could NEVER be lifted from that status to the tune of income derived from the horn. 

GuyMc, you are on the right track - surveillance with small low endurance UAV's with low performance IR cameras ( for the task at hand, a TAU-2 is considered low performance..@$5k US..) is not the answer at all. The communities involvement is essential..

I am very active in exactly this field here in Namibia, and would love to dispel some of the myths and hype that regularly get touted as 'solutions' on these forums, but as Gary rightly says, not the place to give away what may work and what does not work! 

Wayne, I find some humans lives reprehensible - maybe a dead poacher does not bring the rhino back, but for sure  he wont kill another rhino..

We are also involved in a program monitoring the Desert Lion population here in Namibia, This entails fitting Sat tracking collars onto males and monitoring there progress. Male Lion trophy hunting was big here from 1999 to 2010, during which time many males were shot - skewing the male/female ratios badly. The monitoring has shown a shift btowards 'normality' over the last 3 years, which is great. There is a web site:


where you can see the route followed, by the various collared lions etc. This site is watched world wide ( see esp the Terrace Male (XPL-68) and his jaunt into Angola, swimming the Kunene, and back again.

Follow his journey here:


This work is funded by kind donors and they watch this site daily!

And now, a reprehensible Human may have used this location data to find and shoot one of these males as a trophy. If I was there , I would personally have shot this Reprehensible Human myself! So this site may be shut down, or at least no more location data given.

Greed and Ego are the problems.

For those squeamish types - come live in Africa a while, before you tout solutions for us from your Squeaky Clean 1st worlds..

The Nampilot


Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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