“We have developed a manual crowd estimation method using footage shot by our DJI Phantom 2 Vision. ”
We have developed a manual crowd estimation method using footage shot by our DJI Phantom 2 Vision.
The Good Drone Lab is a university-based start-up focused on how affordable micro-UAVs can be used for the public good. A prime example of our work is an easy-to-use method for estimating the size of a mass gathering. We’ve noticed that crowd estimation techniques have remained unchanged for decades. By applying aerial photography to existing methods (with some tweaks along the way of course!) we have used the Phantom 2 Vision to dramatically increase the speed and lower the cost of estimating an event size. The next stage of the project will be to help municipal authorities to integrate this approach into their crowd risk management process. We anticipate this commercial application will significantly leverage existing approaches. In our work we have been using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision. All footage was made with a stock unit, with the exception of a single, non-gimbal, modification for pointing the camera 90 degrees down. This platform has performed faultlessly. To take our project to the next level, however, we must increase privacy and safety. The Inspire 1 will allow us to do both. It can carry an infrared camera, which will allow us to increase individual privacy, even at public events. We would also like to retrofit it with a parachute, thus increasing safety. The ability to work with the Inspire 1 would help us take this promising project to the next level. The Good Drone Lab is a network of technologists, academics, programmers, and policy entrepreneurs working to connect civil society and new technology.