Zambia—New Life Center

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.

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Drone hits airliner in London

Sobering news today:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/17/drone-hits-british-airways-plane/

It serves as a reminder of the importance to educate all UA operators on the safety procedures, legal guidelines, flight maneuvers and professional responsibility associated with these new aircraft.
This applies to domestic as well as international operations.

The goal of the Missouri Drone Journalism program is to encourage safe and responsible flight, and avoid something like this ever happening to a journalist or any professional in another discipline.

Costa Rica Flying High

Justin Stewart captured the experience of teaching firefighters in Costa Rica to fly drones in this video that we’ve added to our Costa Rica link under the Projects tab!

DJI Recognizes Missouri Drone Journalism Program

 

DJI_Website

 

 

Our Missouri Drone Journalism program received promotional support from DJI.  The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute recently purchased the DJI Inspire 1 for the Missouri Drone Journalism Program at the Missouri School of Journalism.  We created a custom tiger-stripe “skin” wrap for the Inspire as branding for a project in Zambia, Africa.  We also fly Phantom quadcopters in our class “Civilian Drone Issues, Applications and Flight.”

Workshop Provides Safety Education for Unmanned Aircraft Operators

Rick Shaw attended an intensive symposium workshop on drone flight safety at the Unmanned Safety Institute in Orlando, Florida in June 2015.  Read his reflections on the importance of drone safety training.  The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute sponsored his tuition for the specialized training that earned him UAS Safety Certification and UAS Instructor Certification for small unmanned aircraft from the Unmanned Safety Institute, which is affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Find the story here.

From “Publishers’ Auxiliary,” August 2015

Costa Rica Trip

The first addition to our Projects page:

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Since government regulations prevent us from doing drone journalism in U.S. airspace, we look for opportunities internationally. To date, our favorite spot to fly is Costa Rica, particularly in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Below you’ll see some of our recent work there.

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New Pages!

If you look at our menu bar, you’ll notice that we have added a new page!

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Our “Projects” page will showcase drone projects from our students and faculty in locations across the world.

When it is updated, we will post a notice on our home page, but feel free to check back regularly to keep up with what we’re doing!

 

UAVs are coming…

University of Missouri class on how to fly drones and the many beneficial uses for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Look for more of our videos to be up in the coming weeks on our YouTube channel.

Drones in the News, 2014

 

The Columbia Tribune

The Poynter Institute

The Maneater