Jelena Petkovic

Jelena Petkovic


Start-up Drone Hero Europe 2017

Vectrino (Croatia)

In recent years, mosquitoes represent a growing health threat because their vector potential increases and new cases of mosquitoes carry diseases are constantly evolving. Therefore, their systematic suppression is governed by legislation. So far, conventional methods of treatment  mosquitoes have numerous defects: non-selective application of insecticides, vegetation and weather opportunities which have a major impact on the (un)successful treatment, difficulty treating hard accessible areas and others. This is why a group of authors designed a new way of larviciding with unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) using edge spectra of visible red light (NIR)  to clearly notice the places where mosquitoes breed.

By locating those places, automatic calculation of area and volume of water it is possible to automate the drones to independently perform larvicidal treatment dosing exactly the optimal amount of larvicide only where such treatment is necessary. Vectrino Ltd. is a dynamic company that creatively uses the latest advanced technology combined with knowledge/experience from specific areas and activities in achieving various business goals:  analysis, monitoring, maintenance and planning. Some of the tools we use in our day-to-day operations are unmanned aircraft and submarines equipped with spherical, thermal, NDVI, IR cameras integrating advanced 3D print and 3D modeling.

We are always thinking beyond existing frameworks and routinized business protocols, so our projects are very specific as well as our multidisciplinary teams involving professionals from a variety of industries and branches. Also, we continuously connect the real sector and science. Thanks to this, our client portfolio is truly diverse. The company owns and, if necessary, obtains all necessary permits, while respecting the current regulations, requirements and laws of the Republic of Croatia.

Motivation of the jury:
“Vectrino answers to a real need with this project and has the potential of having a worldwide social impact.”

Richard Ruiterkamp

Richard Ruiterkamp

Ampyx Power

International Drone Hero Europe 2017

Ampyx Power (The Netherlands)

Ampyx Power develops  the Ampyx Power Airborne Wind Energy System, that can generate cost-effective power and has minimal impact on the environment as it comprises less than  a tenth of the material than a wind turbine with the same capacity. In the future we can provide abundant renewable energy at cost levels below any other methods of electricity generation.

The system consists of an autonomous aircraft, a drone, tethered to a generator on the ground. Wind drives the tethered aircraft at an altitude of 450 m. Tensile force causes the tether to be reeled out from a winch. Once the tether is reeled out to a predefined length, the aircraft automatically descends towards the ground causing the tether to reel in. Then is ascends and repeats the process. The aircraft utilizes a vast array of sensor suites which provide the autopilot with critical information to perform the task safely.

Motivation of the jury:
“The jury was impressed by this mature business case, which is also validated by real customers. This has to be pushed to an international level as soon as possible.”

Cliff Li

Cliff Li


Innovative Drone Hero Europe 2017


The Voliro hexacopter has been developed, assembled and programmed as a student project at ETH Zurich. It has the unique capability of being able to hover in any arbitrary orientation, even vertically or upside down. Unlike standard multicopters, the position and the orientation are completely decoupled and can be steered independently. This is achieved by six additional tilting motors which allow the rotor units to turn around its axes.

The Voliro hexacopter is a platform which expands the potential of conventional drones and allows many future applications. As it can fly vertically, it could also drive with a chassis on a wall and perform tasks like bridge inspection or creating paintings on the wall.

Voliro is a student project which started one year ago at ETH Zurich. 11 bachelor students – mechanical and electrical engineers, industrial designers – developed, assembled and programmed a completely new hexacopter. It can tilt the motors around its axes which gives it the ability to completely decouple its position and orientation and perform acrobatic maneuvers in the air.

Motivation of the jury:
“The jury was very positively impressed with this innovation. They see a lot of applications and possibilities behind it.”

Pawel Korzec

Pawel Korzec


High Potential Drone Hero Europe 2017

DroneRadar (Poland)

The aim of the DroneRadar is to vastly improve airspace safety by providing a simple, available to all solution to performing, monitoring and integrating UAV operations with the manned aviation flow in European airspace. A rapidly growing number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operations have caused major concern over flight safety. Air Traffic Management institutions, like ATC, FIS are finding it difficult to track such operations as the majority of those are conducted by amateurs with no aviation background and little or no knowledge of both airspace structures and flight rules.

Up to now there has been no means or concept of integrating such operations into the mainstream ATM flow, which would allow for creating awareness of them and their monitoring. DroneRadar is the first, ANSP integrated system platform allowing for such integration. DroneRadar is a non-restrictive, mobile, cloud based platform which allows the precise registration and monitoring of drone operations via social sourced information. The system is based on simple concepts easily understood by amateurs but at the same time provides sophisticated functionality for Air Traffic Services and for professional users such as military and governmental institutions.

Clearly, DroneRadar is a solution many UAV operators and ATM institutions have been waiting for and has enormous potential for structuring procedures needed to integrate UAV operations into the ATM flow. Detailed analyses of the collected statistics, may be used for risk assessment, and may be a great input for SMS (Safety Management System) analyses. DroneRadar confront all regulations which apply to FIR and present them in easy to understand way, to all users (professionals and amateurs). DroneRadar is fully operational in Poland since December 2015.

Motivation of the jury:
“This was the most difficult decision. Unifly is definitely an equal competitor. This being said, the jury decided to encourage DroneRadar for their efforts to realize this project so far with limited resources.”

Massoud Hassani

Massoud Hassani

Mine Kafon

Creative Drone Hero Europe 2017

Mine Kafon (The Netherlands)

Introducing the Mine Kafon Drone, an airborne demining system developed to clear all land mines around the world in less than 10 years. There are 100 million land mines worldwide. Every day, 10 innocent civilians are killed or maimed by these explosives. Today, land mines can still be found in more than 60 countries, constituting a significant risk to communities across the globe. In these countries, the victims are mostly civilians – children, women and the elderly – with tens of thousands of innocent people killed every year, and many more injured, serving as a horrific reminder of the past.

Using current technologies, clearing or even detecting all land mines across the entire world would take over 1100 years. The established processes are slow, dangerous, expensive, and completely unacceptable if we want to solve the problem in our lifetime. Growing up on the edge of Kabul in a little town called Qasaba in Afghanistan, Massoud and Mahmud Hassani, the brothers behind the Mine Kafon Drone project, experienced the horrors of land mines from an early age.

These experiences fuelled older brother Massoud to develop a solution for a safe and smart solution to detect and clear land mines. Massoud and Mahmud Hassani stunned the world in 2012 with Mine Kafon, a wind powered anti land mine ball looking like a dandelion The Mine Kafon is approximately the height and weight of an average man, allowing it to trigger landmines as it rolls over them using the power of the wind. After three years of work, the team is ready to present the Mine Kafon Drone: an unmanned airborne demining system that uses a three step process to map, detect and detonate land mines

Motivation of the jury:
“This is a very creative project with an immense social impact. It can be implemented and be effective immediately and it should be as soon as possible.”

Guy Verhoeven

Guy Verhoeven


Public Drone Hero Europe 2017

SkyScan (Belgium)

WILL YOU HELP US SEARCH? Guy Verhoeven is the founder of Skycan, a fast growing Belgian drone-company. He worked for 23 years in a hospital before he became a licensed drone-pilot. He’s not nursing anymore but, even in the drone-business, he never stops trying to help …  All the technology is already on the market, but we just have to put it all together. And fast! Everyday a person get’s lost. What if it is someone you love? Guy searched for a company that builds drones (GL) for search and rescue, he found the perfect thermal-fusion camera, specially build for drones and works together with Idronect (a drone platform that will allow rescue services to create an online scenario in minutes). Now Guy wants to realize his project:

  • Working with different rescue-services.
  • Finding pilots who wil learn to fly with the ‘Salvator’-drone.
  • Have different drones spread across the country so help can get there fast. Every minute is important.
  • Installing a tracking system for “Salavator” that will allow rescue teams track exactly where the drone is… in real time.
  • Installing the best solution for the rescue teams to see the drone’s camera in real time. The more eyes the better.

Motivation of the jury:
This award was voted by the public

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