WeRobotics – Robots to the rescue!

Author: Dr. Luca Alinovi

Posted on 7 October 2016

At last month’s General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) meetings in New York, partners agreed to mobilize and accelerate action for building climate resilience. The platform for this mobilization is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s initiative on Climate Resilience known as A2R (Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape) which was launched at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

As a member of the A2R Leadership Group, GRP is excited to be a part of the conversation uniting governments with public and private sector organisations dedicated to resilience building, turning the challenge of climate change into opportunity for transformation.

We believe that leveraging technology is a crucial factor in building a resilient future. One of our partner organisations, WeRobotics, is doing just that with its advanced flying, driving and swimming vehicles (robots!). Their focus is working with local communities in Asia, Latin America and Africa, empowering them with skills, knowledge and robotic technology for a range of local applications such as data collection and cargo transportation.

In Nepal, WeRobotics recently launched Kathmandu Flying Labs. The program is focused on training stakeholders such as Kathmandu University how to use aerial robotic solutions (drones) safely and effectively to support their disaster risk reduction and early recovery post-disaster efforts. Funded through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, projects are also underway in locations such as Tanzania where the WeRobotics team are conducting a post-earthquake assessment around the town of Bukoba. In November, they will be travelling to Peru to initiate a first series of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) medicine delivery pilot projects in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

Through work with our own diverse group of partner organisations, the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) is committed to bringing the best, most innovative and scalable ideas to the surface. With a growing global population increasingly impacted by climate change, we believe we need to bring together a critical mass of interconnected ideas at scale so that we make huge changes that have extreme impact.

Ban Ki-moon recently informed the A2R Leadership Group that “we have no time to lose”, noting that “each month brings temperature records and more floods, droughts and extreme weather events.” We agree – and collaborate proactively with organisations and stakeholders of all sizes, such as WeRobotics, to help ensure that the best ideas and inventions rise to the surface, and are supported to succeed.