IPANEMA - First phase
July 29 2019
In few days, Jack, Rebecca, Priscilla and Craig will have a well-deserved break after eight weeks of work on the IPANEMA* project, testing materials, studying aerodynamic structure and telling their story on social media.
This, is only the first phase of a very exciting trilateral programme between the Federal University of Manaus (UFAM), the University of Southampton (UK) and the river-dwellers communities of the Jauaperi river. In the meantime, Brazilian colleagues are formally establishing a collaboration agreement which will include the traditional communities as the main project beneficiary.
IPANEMA is the fruit a grassroot approach which derivates from community planning. While we discussed the threats posed by increasing droughts and fire degradation in the Amazon region, we essentially identified Drones as a wonderful tool for forest monitoring and to address those challenges. Since community participation was a key element of the project, we thought to start literally from "scratch" by conceiving and elaborating WITH the community a tool to be used BY the community and FOR the community. The idea was then developed further, to limit environmental impact, by researching sustainable and recyclable material for Drone production.
During the fieldwork in the Jauaperi river, the IPANEMA team was composed of six students (in aeronautical and electrical engineering) from UFAM and Southampton University, led by Professor Florindo Carvales Junior and project coordinator Athena Caron. It was a first in many aspects; first time that the students and teachers would travel to the Jauaperi area 500km north of Manaus and first time that the team would spend time together and with the local communities of Itaquera and Xixuau.
The mission scope was to observe the area and understand what are the geographical and environmental constraints and opportunities to build a drone; Fascinating discussions and interactions followed between the students and member of the communities, sharing knowledge on technology and uses of traditional resources.
During a visit to the local school of Itaquera, the students also had an occasion to repeat drone demonstration made in Xixuau and to show the childrens what they were doing and how Drone technology can be used around the world to carry packages or even protect wildlife...
In Manaus, the british students also had a guided tour of UFAM. They visited the department and Labs involve in the project and they were able to ask questions and compare notes. Lastly, the team also had a very interesting day at @MUSA learning about the Amazon fora and fauna and escalating the observation tower during a (hot) winter day.
Now, the entire IPANEMA team is more dedicated than ever to accomplish its project scope and report to the communities of the Jauaperi with a finish product.
Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign we will be able to increase the project scale and develop further opportunities for the exchange of student into and from Brazil to increase the collaboration between Brazilian and UK researchers.
Follow the project update on the social media page of ACT and facebook and instagram (Ipanema_uos)
*Indigenous Production of robotic Aircraft using Natural and Environmentally-friendly Materials for and from the Amazon region