Zambia: Gift of Mobility
Missouri drone captures 360VR for disability project in Africa
The emerging technologies of 360° Virtual Reality video and unmanned aircraft are combined to tell the emotional story of people who have to crawl on the ground because they lack access to all-terrain wheelchairs in Zambia, Africa.
Sarah Hill, with Story Up Studios VR, visited the New Life Center in Zambia in October 2015 to document the story of charity workers as they distribute PET carts (Personal Energy Transportation) to those who are disabled. Sarah and a team of five, including Rick Shaw of the Missouri Drone Journalism program, shot the project using 4K high quality 360° video with a Freedom360 mount and six GoPros Hero4 cameras for an immersive experience.
The challenge began in August 2015 to design an extended bracket for the 360 mount onto the DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter. No commercially designed accessory was on the market, so Rick attracted the help of a College of Engineering student, Muhammad Al-Rawi, to custom design a bracket for the Zambia project.
On Oct. 28, 2015, Sarah’s StoryUp team arrived at The New Life Center Zambia in Kitwe, Zambia. For four days, the team used 360VR and drone aerials to show the distribution of mobility carts, Personal Energy Transportation (PET), to the disabled poor in Africa. One distribution site was located in deep-bush Africa about 40 miles outside of Kitwe. Many of the recipients arrived by crawling, as they have no other means of mobility.
The posts on this project page show how Sarah and Rick embraced this advanced visual approach, experimented with drone aerials, and overcame environmental challenges in remote areas of Zambia.
See more below the cut.