DIY drone: South American tribe fights loggers with UAV made by watching YouTube

Members of the Wapichan tribe in the South American country of Guyana are fighting illegal loggers using a drone they built by watching YouTube videos.

Illegal logging is an issue affecting indigenous people around the globe, including Guyana, which has the world’s second-highest percentage of rainforest cover, with 80 percent of the country covered in trees.

However, with a population of just 735,000 people, guarding the country’s sacred land is a challenge.

Tribal members know illegal logging is taking place, but had been unable to prove it to the government – until the DIY drone came in.

The Wapichan tribe took to Youtube to learn how to build their own drone. By watching videos on the subject, they managed to build a fixed-wing drone mounted with a camera donated by GoPro in two and a half days using a lollipop stick as a drill and bowstrings to tie the parts together. The drone is controlled using open source flight tracking software.

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