One of the legacies left behind by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who passed away last October, is a drone development program aimed at providing aerial intelligence for Africa’s anti-poaching efforts.
The program takes a share of the spotlight in a behind-the-scenes report about Allen’s philanthropic operation at Vulcan Inc., published last week by Inside Philanthropy.
Vulcan has been working for years on a surveillance program for elephants and other African species, including the use of autonomous aerial vehicles to patrol protected areas. Allen’s team sought a regulatory exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration three years ago to test drones such as the DJI Phantom 3and the UASUSA Tempest for conservation purposes.
The in-house drone program has advanced significantly since then. Inside Philanthropy reports Vulcan is adapting off-the-shelf equipment to create affordable drones that are optimized for anti-poaching surveillance.