The first UAE 'Drones For Good' competition has announced its inaugural winner, as the rescue geared Gimball drone, by Swiss company Flyability, who take home the $1 million prize. Gimball beat more than 800 entires to secure the prize of the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's forward thinking initiative. 

The competition was launched to find new practical and potentially life-changing uses for drones in everyday life. Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said: "I congratulate the winners of this great competition, which showed the amazing ways we can use drones for good. All the entries have the capability to transform the world to make it a better place to live in and we are optimistic that they will continue to inspire new breakthroughs."

The winning design boasts a protective rotating cage that allows the drone to access hard to reach and dangerous areas, in the pursuit of high-risk rescue missions. Flyability team leader, Patrick Thevoz, said: "We struggled to find funding to develop our search and rescue drone but this UAE Government Summit initiative, Drones for Good, means we can commercially develop our project within a year, and with Flyability able to go where it is dangerous for rescuers, help save lives."

The competition culminated in a two-day event that saw 39 semi-finalists, from the 800 total entries, in three categories, present live demonstrations of their projects to a panel of local and international judges. Some of the other finalists included drones for reforestation, urgent transportation of organs, delivery catchment systems and monitoring of crop conditions. All worthy winners, and we do not envy the panel for having to make this decision – we look forward to more innovation in next year's competition...

UAE drone comp winner