33 Teams from Africa, Australia, Europe, India and North America have applied for the first edition of the Flying Donkey Challenge that will be held in Kenya 8-16 November 2014, including PACI-led “Nevada Twenty-Mule Team”.
La Fondation Bundi (a Swiss non-profit organisation) and its partners are pleased to report that 33 teams from around the world have applied for the first edition of the Flying Donkey Challenge that will be held in Kenya 8-16th November 2014. Applications are from universities, start-ups and companies with recognised research, proven technology and experience in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). All the candidates are eager to take on the challenge of demonstrating the capabilities, safety and benefits of unmanned cargo aircrafts in Africa and beyond. The proposed aerial designs vary from fixed-wing, rotary-wing, lighter-than-air, paramotor to inflatable airframe. Teams are also proposing different powertrains (variations of combustion or electric motors) and cargo delivery strategies (e.g. loaded, winched or dropped). The event is open to worldwide entrants, but non-African teams must collaborate with a recognised higher education African institute, school or laboratory.
“This is a great endorsement for what we are doing. The teams understand that we must find solutions that are adapted to the environment and task. It’s the ecosystem of engineers, designers, lawyers, regulators and business partners that must collaborate to demonstrate the benefits and gain acceptance of flying donkeys that are going to be part of our future transportation infrastructure”, said Simon Johnson, Flying Donkey Challenge Co-Founder and Director.
About The Flying Donkey Challenge
The place to launch commercial aerial delivery services is in Africa! Africa has a population that will double by 2050, some of the fastest growing economies, forecasted infrastructure deficit, a flexible regulatory environment, plenty of air bandwidth and a structure that makes it ready to leapfrog technology. Solutions proven in Africa will be replicated in other areas.
The Flying Donkey Challenge is an escalating series of sub-challenges held annually in Africa. World-leading roboticists, engineers, regulators, entrepreneurs, logisticians, and designers will win substantial grants by advancing the safety, durability, legality, profitability and friendliness of flying-parcel carriers on a massive scale. Before 2020, with world media attention, the sub-challenges will culminate in a race of Flying Donkeys* around Mount Kenya in under 24 hours, delivering and collecting 20 kilo payloads along the way. The winner(s) will collect a multi-million dollar prize. *Cargo robots with a maximum takeoff weight of 60 kilos