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Google Drones Launch In Africa

The World Wildlife Fund and Google are teaming up to deploy a fleet of anti-poacher UAVs in Africa. The goal? Survey and stop rhino poachers.

Google-funded drones will fight rhino poachers in Africa. On Tuesday, Google announced the disbursement of a $5 million grant to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to purchase a fleet of drone aircraft in Africa. (Here you can see them in action.) The WWF already uses trackers in Nepal to protect endangered species.

The $5 million grant is part of Google's Global Impact Award program and will help the WWF acquire an undisclosed number of lightweight "conservation drones," which are launched by hand and can fly approximately 18 miles. According to Mother Jones' Dana Liebelson, the WWF will use the drones to track African ivory poachers.

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  • Lydifeline

    Finally technology (as wonderful as it is) can do something really good for the benefit of wild animals. The criminals/poachers won't know WTF hit them! Yeah!

  • Mightymel101

    Won't the risk of death just up the $$ payments to the poor people hunting these animals? Drones will kill the broke-a$$ people paid by the REAL arseholes who want these products. Find the rich buggers and behead them...then stick their heads on the walls of high end restaurants where rich people eat.

    There's a solution that might actually work.

  • Alex

    The people that are saying google is stepping too far are insane. I dont care how google handles their taxes. What i know right now is that they have donated 5 million dollars for a great cause. How are people even considering this policing? This does not affect you negatively in any way. Stop trying to create an issue out of what is clearly just a good deed. Unless all of you complainers are making a living off rhino hide (which if you are, I suggest you get a job that doesn't involve taking something from a life that cannot retaliate or defend itself) you should all probably shut up and worry about how your emails are being stored or how peoples lives are being taken by their own species. 

  • Martin Le

    If there was a black market job to hunt and kill poachers. I'd be the first man on the job. HEHEHE

  • Andrew

    I'm not in favor of more animals going extinct because of humans, but its easy damn what poachers are doing when you and your family aren't starving to death.

  • gitmonate

    A new drone operation in Africa? This is too enticing for the government NOT to have their foot in the door... especially with China's active involvement on the continent. Lots of opportunity for unreported 'accidents'.

  • ironic

    I find it funny how 99% of Rhino poaching happens in South Africa (over 600 already this year), but the drones are flying in countries where it doesn't matter.

  • Curriedkippers

    South Africa is running its own program using aerial vehicles - they just announced it but that is a military operation.  WWF seems to be setting up a way to integrate technologies cheaply and is experimenting with a civilian option.  I dont think its clear where there are going to be running the experiment as they dont want to advertise it and have poachers shoot down the aerial vehicles???

  • rhinoFarmer

    Why don't they just saw off all their horns, sell them and give the money back to the WWF.  Poachers won't go after them then, plus .. more money for rhino farming. (The horns grow back).

  • RubberDuck133

    1) Invest in stem cell research
    2) Grow tonnes and tonnes of ivory
    3) Saturate the market to significantly lower the cost of ivory 
    4 ???
    5) Profit?
    6) Poaching animals for Ivory isn't worth it anymore.

  • poop13

    Humans blow anyway. We are foolish, destructive creatures who don't deserve the intelligence evolution gave us.

  • Bailout_more_Banks

    Its not about saving private Rhinos!

    This is a feel-good human interest story maneuver to further condition the American populace into accepting drones.
    In the next eight years your location data and matching video will be nicely archived into the "cloud".  Its sad how easy people fall for this crap.

    the real issue is the relationship between  Google and the CIA/NSA.
    Google Earth,
    which was originally developed by a company called Keyhole
    Incorporated, acquired by Google in 2004. Keyhole was in turn funded by In-Q-Tel,
    the venture capital arm of the CIA, charged with “building a bridge
    between the Agency and a new set of technology innovators.” There’s been at least one significant In-Q-Tel/Google crossover as well.
    In 2004 (the same year Google bought Keyhole), Rob Painter became
    “Senior Federal Manager” at Google after several years of directly
    reporting to the CIA in his capacity as Director of Technology
    Assessment at In-Q-Tel.