Sample Collection


Emergency Delivery


Rapid Disaster Risk and Damage Assessment


The challenge is focused on three use cases:  sample collection, emergency delivery of items and disaster mapping.

The use of UAVs has been explored in recent years to help speed up the diagnosis of life threatening infections such as HIV and Tuberculosis. Highly specialized diagnostic equipment is often only available in larger hospitals and samples need to be transported from health centers in remote villages to diagnostic locations. Poor terrestrial infrastructure coupled with seasonal weather events can lead to severe delays of the diagnosis and life-saving medical treatment. UAVs are now being used in Switzerland to speed up the transport of laboratory samples between hospitals. Similarly, the government of Malawi together with UNICEF are spearheading the use of UAVs to speed-up infant HIV diagnosis and MSF is testing UAVs to transport multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis samples between remote villages in Papua New Guinea and laboratories.

In this challenge, UAV teams are asked to transport small samples of 1,500g from health centers bordering on Lake Victoria back to the main drone port in Mwanza with 3 back to back flights each carrying at least 500g.

In contrast to regularly scheduled deliveries for the collection of patient samples, emergency deliveries are “on call” deliveries and more time sensitive. The need could be related to blood transfusion, snake bites or communications.  Poor or nonexistent terrestrial and maritime infrastructure coupled with seasonal weather events can lead to severe delivery delays. Types of emergency cargo include, anit-venom, satellite phones and internet routers to enable communication.

In this challenge, companies are asked to transport an emergency payload of 1,000g from the main drone port to a health center bordering on Lake Victoria in the shortest amount of time possible.

UAVs stand to play an increasingly important role in accelerating the time it takes to carry out disaster risk and damage assessments. This is particularly true if UAV teams are already local and the areas that need to be assessed are not easily accessible by conventional means. UAVs can be used to quickly carry out aerial surveys to produce up-to-date maps of affected areas. These maps can provide responders with the situational awareness they need to assess damage and thus prioritize their relief efforts, especially when combined with other spatial data.

In this challenge, companies will carry out aerial surveys of 2 selected villages 10km-50km away. Areas and flight routers for consideration range between 10km-50km. Said routes should be selected based on hazard risk mitigation considerations.

To successfully complete the challenge, the teams need to produce a map (e.g. orthorectified mosaic) at 7 cm spatial resolution within a specific time window per team (to be determined once flight routes have been selected) and identify the total number of (pre-placed) markers identified in said mosaic. These markers will denote disaster damage.