WildDrone

An international training network funded by the EU’s Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions to research and develop the use of drones for wildlife conservation.

The Mission

WildDrone aims to revolutionize wildlife conservation practices by using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform to monitor wildlife populations, track their movements, and manage human-wildlife conflicts. We believe that the rapid decline of wildlife populations has prompted an urgent need for more effective and feasible nature conservation practices.

The Training

WildDrone aims to revolutionize wildlife conservation practices by using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform to monitor wildlife populations, track their movements, and manage human-wildlife conflicts. We believe that the rapid decline of wildlife populations has prompted an urgent need for more effective and feasible nature conservation practices.

DC students sailing.
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Countries in Europe and Africa

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Doctoral candidates trained

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Years to achieve our goals

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Partners in the consortium

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From EU, UKRI, and SERI

THE THEMES

Through 3 themes we will integrate the research areas of aerial robotics, computer vision, and wildlife ecology, using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform. We will develop new autonomous systems, expand current software capabilities, and combine these advances to create practical tools for visual inspection and monitoring of wildlife populations, movement, behaviour, and habitats in complex field settings.

THEME 1
Automated Wildlife Tracking for Conservation

Theme 1 focuses on innovative applications of ecology science within human-wildlife conflict, animal monitoring, and realtime census.

THEME 2
Safe and Flexible Drone Operations

Theme 2 focuses on innovation of drone design, operations, and control, addressing noise, multi-drone missions, and BVLOS flights.

THEME 3
Effective Computer Vision for Conservation

Theme 3 focuses on development of computer vision techniques centred on vision-based control, tracking, animal censuses, and individual characterization.

13 DOCTORAL PROJECTS

NEWS AND EVENTS

Events

WildDrone at ICUAS Conference 2024

Three DCs from Theme 2 presented their work at the 2024 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS).

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Events

Visit to Kenyatta University

Our Doctoral Candidate Kilian Meier reports back from his fieldtrip to Kenya.

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Events

WildDrone at Biomim’expo 2024

WildDrone Showcases VR Dolphin Experience at Biomim’expo 2024.

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Collaboration

A New Educational Partnership

WildDrone has partnered up with the ABC Global Climate Center.

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Portrait of Ulrik Lundquist

The Beginning

The idea of WildDrone began in 2018 with a desire to make drones play a bigger role in the green transition. In the following years, the idea was further refined together with the consortium partners who now make up the WildDrone network. 

From the beginning, our intention has been to create a doctoral network based on projects that have the potential to directly contribute to conservation actions around the world. We aim to build a network that provides our doctoral candidates with close connection to conservation practitioners and which educates them on real-life challenges in conservation through hands on experience.

Professor Ulrik Pagh Schultz Lundquist

WildDrone Coordinator and Head of SDU UAS

key concerns

Open science is a key concern for us. Citizen science plays a significant role across the three themes. Our research outputs are be made freely available by depositing research data and publications in open access repositories and on our homepage.

We continuously monitor security-related issues, and our Security Advisory Board (SAB) addresses any security matters that might arise in the projects. The SAB also reviews our deliverables to assess whether they include any security-sensitive information.

Our Ethics Manager monitors and advises us on all ethics related issues and questions that arise. We also train our doctoral candidates to improve their understanding of the role ethics generally play in science and research as well as in their own projects.

Wildlife conservation is a global problem that requires collaborative solutions. That is why we develop our technology together with experienced conservation practitioners, test it out in real-life settings, and share our findings so everyone can benefit from its use.

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