How this project took to the skies
Tihlo Henhla is the Tsonga word for “Eye Above” and that is exactly what this project is all about. By giving those involved in the monumental fight against Rhino poaching an “eye in the sky” we are giving them a fighting chance to even the odds in order to effectively protect this iconic and endangered species.
Just a small height advantage can allow ground teams to cover hundreds of square kilometres quickly and easily, scoping difficult terrain in minutes rather than hours. This advantage allows antipoaching units to respond fast and effectively, ensuring that every second and every action counts.
The project was initiated and self-funded by entrepreneur Robert Miller, with the aim to develop and implement a production UAV system that is optimised for use in the antipoaching arena in Southern Africa.Find out more
What we are doing differently
The aim of this project has always been to design a drone platform which has been built in Africa for use in the harsh and unforgiving African landscape. To this end extensive research has gone into what is required to make a drone viable in the Southern African arena, with most of the technology having been built from the ground up.
- Designed in Africa for African conditions.
- Long flight duration fixed wing.
- Autonomous vertical take-off and landing.
- Easy battery replacement.
- Autonomous execution of mission plan.
- Minimal ground crew.
- Onboard AI for analysis of camera and sensor data.
- Ability to autonomously identify and begin tracking a verified target.
- Minimal onsite maintenance.
In addition, we aim to:
- Setup a crowdfunding model to help qualifying reserves fund the build and operation of a drone on the front lines, allowing them to benefit from the technology without incurring upfront costs. This will ensure that ALL qualifying reserves, irrespective of their size and financial situations, can benefit from the technology.
- Maintain the drones centrally. All reserves will have access to Tihlo Henhla’s maintenance department to ensure that the drones are maintained at a high level and continue to function at full capability.
- Setup a unit to develop additional affordable technology, that can be employed on the front line, including:
- Body armour
- Low cost night vision
- Augmented Reality Systems
- Centralised flight operations