International health organizations, governments, major donors, non-governmental organizations and companies are increasingly looking to use cargo drones to improve public health services. So what does it actually take to run cargo drone deliveries for public health?
Far more than most realize.
Participants in this course will get an introduction to help them design, implement, evaluate and partner on successful medical cargo drone projects. The course cuts through the hype and unpacks many of the assumptions that currently drive the discourse in the cargo drone space. As such, the course provides an objective, empirical and candid overview of the current state of cargo drones in health. A certificate of completion signed by WeRobotics will be awarded to participants who successfully complete the course. Please see the course syllabus for a detailed overview of the topics and issues that participants will become well versed in. To get the most out of this self-paced course, we recommend that participants dedicate around 3 hours in total. To view the complete course description or to check out our advanced Cargo Drones for Public Health course, please visit our website here.
Dr. Patrick Meier serves as Executive Director of WeRobotics, a Swiss organization that accelerates positive social change by localizing appropriate robotics solutions. His responsibilities are the deployment of mapping and cargo drones for humanitarian aid and public health projects across the organization's growing network of Flying Labs in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These local action labs are run entirely by local professionals who are trained, equipped and supported by WeRobotics to rapidly deploy drones in a wide range of humanitarian and development contexts.
As Executive Director of WeRobotics, Patrick spearheaded the development of coordination mechanisms for the safe and rapid deployment of drones in disaster response on behalf of the World Food Program (WFP), which hired WeRobotics for this purpose. The project included the design and implementation of hands-on, professional workshops on the use of drones in humanitarian action and also comprised live disaster response simulations with key national and local stakeholders in Peru, Dominican Republic, Myanmar and Mozambique. Patrick also spearheaded similar workshops and trainings for UNICEF. In addition, Patrick designed and spearheaded WeRobotics’ Open AI Challenge, which focuses on the application of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to automate the analysis of aerial imagery of disaster areas.
Patrick draws on more than 15 years of professional experience in humanitarian technology projects with international aid and development organizations in dozens of countries around the world to lead the work of WeRobotics. This includes spearheading multiple humanitarian drone missions for the United Nations, Red Cross and the World Bank. Patrick also co-authored the most comprehensive report available on the topic, “Drones in Humanitarian Action: A Guide to the Use of Airborne Systems in Humanitarian Crises," and published the widely-praised book Digital Humanitarians. In addition, he authored the report “Humanitarian UAV Missions: Towards Best Practices” and wrote the chapter on Humanitarian UAVs in “Drones & Aerial Observation,” an important Primer by the New America Foundation.
Prior to WeRobotics, Patrick founded the International Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators.org), the largest, global community of practice dedicated to the safe, responsible and effective use of drones in a wide range of aid and development contexts. UAViators includes over 3,000 members in more 120 countries. In this capacity as Founder, Patrick spearheaded the development of the International Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct (UAVCode.org) in collaboration with more than 60 aid and development organizations.
Prior to WeRobotics, Patrick also directed Harvard’s Program on Crisis Mapping and served as Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi, an African organization ranked by MIT as one of the world’s most innovative companies. He also prototyped next generation humanitarian technologies at QCRI -- an advanced computing research institute -- and co-founded the Digital Humanitarian Network with the United Nations.
held fellowships at MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Rockefeller Foundation and
National Geographic and has given over 200 talks in more than 20
countries including TEDx’s. His work is featured in the New York Times,
Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes & Times Magazines, Wired
and Nature amongst others. He has a PhD from The Fletcher School of
Law & Diplomacy and MA from Columbia University. Patrick was born and
raised in Côte d'Ivoire and Kenya.