New Anti-Poaching Video Surveillance Drones for Nepal
ConservationDrones.org has been working closely with WWF Nepal for the past year or so, supported by the WWF AREAS Programme. One of our long-term goals is to reduce training time for new drone operators. After several months of development and testing, Simon Wunderlin (one of our Technical Directors), arrived at a neat solution based on the ‘Caipirinha’ airframe from Team Black Sheep (which we nicknamed ‘Caipy‘). The Caipy hits the sweet spot between sophistication and simplicity. This anti-poaching video surveillance drone weighs only 650 g including battery and a GoPro 3 camera. Not only is this light-weight drone easy to launch and land (fully autonomously), but it is also extremely safe and resilient against hard landings due to its low inertia. Our Nepali trainees particularly like that they can launch the Caipy using most android devices running the Andropilot app, which allows them to ‘leap frog’ the drone from check-point to check-point without a radio transmitter. We were able to get 20-25 minutes flight on on a single battery (15-20 km range at a cruise speed of 13 m/s).