Drones are becoming increasingly available around the world. Many of these drones are very well designed and manufactured. They are safe and highly reliable. Others, however, are less so.
In the past 12 months, Flying Labs in Africa and other regions have noticed an uptick in the number of new drone companies offering highly affordable drones that boast impressive features. Some of these companies are making grandiose claims to governments, nonprofits, and other prospective clients. While Flying Labs are finding some of these claims to be false, the labs are far more alarmed by how unsafe some of these drones appear to be. This is true for both mapping and cargo drones.
The purpose of this Open Advisory Note is not to promote any specific drone companies at the expense of others, nor any foreign company at the expense of local companies. Instead, the purpose of this advisory is to enable Flying Labs, their partners, and the broader community to make more informed decisions when selecting which drones to use and which drone companies to work with. Any drone crash of any drone, by anyone, poses a safety risk. Also, drone crashes pose a reputational risk to all organizations working with drones. As such, this Advisory Note is intended to serve as a guide to help select drone technology that is more reliable and safer. We don’t have all the answers, however. As such, we actively welcome feedback on how to improve the Advisory Note. To do so, add your suggestions directly to this Google Doc by inserting comments where relevant. A PDF of the Advisory Note is also available here.*
*Note that WeRobotics and Flying Labs are not responsible for any adverse outcomes that result from following these suggested guidelines.