Five Innovators Share 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award



Five Innovators Share 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award

DJI Sponsors Award for Drone Missions to Help People, Animals and the Environment

CHICAGO – Five organizations that pioneer new ways to use drones for good are winners of the second annual XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award from the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI). The award, which is sponsored by DJI, was announced today at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“We’ve seen an expanding implementation of drone technology in the past year, from locating humans lost under cluttered forest canopies, to dropping critical medications in Africa, Oceania and Latin America, to enabling students to program unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and fly autonomous missions,” said Mario Rebello, Country Manager for North America and Vice President of the Americas at DJI. “These innovators prove that drone innovation is driven not just by the technology itself, but by its users. We are thrilled to see drones embraced widely across more industries, and we hope the award will inspire more drone operators around the world to accomplish great feats in their own communities.”

The recipients of 2019 AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award are pioneering a much more profound implementation of drone technology, from disaster relief and public safety, to education and training, firefighting, wildlife conservation, and ecosystem solutions:

  • North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Hurricane Florence Response, the utilization of UAS in emergency response for Hurricane Florence (United States)
  • Swoop Aero, vaccine and health supply delivery (Vanuatu)
  • NASA/MIT Search and Rescue under the Canopy (SARUC), locating humans and materials lost in challenging and cluttered forest areas (United States)
  • Project Lifesaver International, search and rescue for ‘at risk’ individuals who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering (United States)
  • Zipline International, medical drone delivery operation (Rwanda and Ghana)

“The Humanitarian Awards demonstrate the profound ability of the recipients to positively impact lives through unmanned systems technology,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. "We proudly recognize the five winners and hope their accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to utilize UAS to accomplish remarkable achievements for our society.”

The five organizations will equally divide a $25,000 prize for their ground-breaking humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

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The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents corporations and professionals from more than 60 countries involved in industry, government and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.

For more information, visit For more information about the AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards and XPONENTIAL, visit

About DJI

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight-control technology and camera stabilization. The company is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking equipment and platforms more accessible, reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world. DJI’s global operations currently span across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries for applications in filmmaking, construction, inspection, emergency response, agriculture, conservation and other industries.

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