Posting at O’Reilly Animals, Edie Freedman let me know about the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge: build a drone to help stop rhino poaching, and you could win as much as $25,000 and get to fly your drone in Kruger National Park, South Africa:
The Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge is to design low cost UAVs that can be deployed over the rugged terrain of Kruger, equipped with sensors able to detect and locate poachers, and communications able to relay accurate and timely intelligence to Park Rangers. UAVs that governments use in warfare might provide some of these capabilities, but Kruger does not have the runways, crews, maintenance facilities, and billions of dollars needed for such operations. The Challenge is to design aircraft that can be launched in the bush, operate for hours over the rugged terrain, detect and locate poachers, communicate over existing commercial infrastructures, and recover in the bush — all for under $3,000.
In the above video, Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge team member Tom Snitch discusses how math, drones, and satellites can help save rhinos.