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Autonomous Drones for Nature Conservation Missions

Project description

Boosting conservation practices with cutting-edge technology

As the world is currently facing the impacts of biodiversity loss, the need for effective and cost-efficient conservation practices is more pressing than ever. The EU-funded WildDrone project is aiming to revolutionise wildlife conservation practices using autonomous drone technology. Through 13 doctoral research projects, WildDrone will develop new drone technology, expand computer vision capabilities, and combine these advances to create tools for visual inspection and monitoring of wildlife populations. A tailored, interdisciplinary PhD training programme will be developed to provide a new generation of researchers with the skills they need to help tackle global biodiversity loss. The goal of WildDrone is to develop new, advanced technological tools that conservation practitioners around the globe can use in their work to reverse the decline of global biodiversity.


The aim of WildDrone is to push wildlife conservation practices into the 21st century. The need for effective, cost-efficient conservation practices are greater than ever as we currently face the greatest loss of global biodiversity in history. Present conservation practices are typically very labour intensive, costly, and time-consuming. Collected data is often inaccurate or incomplete. However, recent advances in drone technology have shown that this technology has great potential as a practical tool for conservationists and that it could potentially revolutionize our efforts in nature conservation. Nevertheless, drone technology is still a developing field and many obstacles stand in the way of us harvesting the benefits of this emerging technology. To fully achieve its promising potential in this new domain we will need to invent more robust and predictable robotic technologies, including effective
and automated means of gathering and interpreting ecological and behavioural data. WildDrone will address these challenges by joining the scientific areas of aerial robotics, computer vision, and wildlife ecology. The network proposes to develop new autonomous drone technology, expand current computer vision capabilities, and combine these advances to create practical tools for visual inspection and monitoring of wildlife populations. This drone-based inspection will provide conservationists with crucial knowledge of animal health, behaviour, and numbers. These challenges will be solved by 13 PhDs (three self-funded). An interdisciplinary research training programme has been designed to educate a new generation of PhDs and provide them with a unique skill set enabling them to tackle the great challenges we must solve collectively, if we are to reverse the decline of global biodiversity. This program will raise the level of excellence in doctoral programs and simultaneously enhance the career perspectives of the PhDs in both academia and industry.


Net EU contribution
€ 905 364,00
5230 Odense M

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Danmark Syddanmark Fyn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Participants (6)

Partners (13)