We had our fingers crossed for Lauren Fletcher's A Billion Trees brigade, yet it was number four on our Drones For Good "most likely" list that made off with the UAE Government's $1m grant yesterday instead.
Swiss outfit Flyability saw off 19 other projects, including the UK's reforestation effort, over the live final this weekend with its Gimball rescue-assist drone (below). It hides inside a rotating cage to protect itself from obstacles – and like-minded rescue-assisting humans from its blades – so it can help out in both confined spaces and right up in people's grills, too. Clever.
“We struggled to find funding to develop our search and rescue drone," said team lead Patrick Thevoz, "but this UAE Government Summit initiative means we can commercially develop our project within a year and, with Flyability able to go where it is dangerous for rescuers, help save lives."
A commendable cause. And cue Patrick and pals partaking in the obligatory not-at-all-awkward cheque-handing-over ceremony.
Gimmegimmegimmegimmegimme. In our minds, the next shot in sequence is the Flyability drone becoming sentient, followed by it breaking off its cage, neutralising its human masters and making off with the giant bit of a expensive card, full-throttle towards the ocean for no reason like Batman at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. Just us? Righto.