Welcome to the Civic Drone Centre

A project from the University of Central Lancashire

The Civic Drone Centre works with companies, individuals and organisations that are using or planning to use, remotely operated vehicles across a wide range of scenarios. These span but are not limited to search and rescue activity, journalism and media and humanitarian aid. It seeks to provide technology and know-how to these organisations and collaborate with a range of partners – locally, nationally and internationally – to explore and develop new technologies and knowledge in this sector.

Who are we?

Based at the University of Central Lancashire, the Civic Drone Centre is a collaboration between the Media Innovation Studio (School of Journalism and Media) and the Engineering Innovation Centre (School of Engineering).

Our team includes engineering, aerospace, media and software development expertise, and our partners range from small businesses, large media organisations, SMEs and NGOs.

We’re funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

What do we do?

The Civic Drone Centre’s work ranges across three separate strands and examines the potential uses and drone engineering and software development in civilian drone applications primarily in search and rescue scenarios, journalism and media, and humanitarian work.

Our remit is to:

  • Promote drones for civic and civil uses.
  • Examine ethical and moral issues behind drone use, and prompt debate around these uses, and seek to influence policy.
  • Promote interdisciplinary digital development and working across academic institutions.
  • Encourage and support small businesses whose core activities benefit the wider UAV and remotely piloted vehicle community.

The Civic Drone Centre looks at the technology and operations of civilian drone operations.

Why do we do it?

It would be accurate and fair to say that we do what we do because we love it. We genuinely believe that used for civilian, rather than military purposes, ‘drones’ are a great tool for a wide range of organisations.

We feel that drones also offer realistic and practical solutions to business and third sector operations. Thermal, IR and HD cameras, along with additional sensors mounted directly onto drones, offer exciting opportunities ranging from search and rescue, TV production, wildlife conservation to delivering humanitarian aid in challenging circumstances.

They are increasingly affordable and offer cost savings over traditional aerial capture methods. Their smaller size provides increased opportunity to access a range of locations. Our technology focussing around inclusive UX development and mass market penetration.

We’re also keen to work with the vibrant maker community exploring UAV opportunities in an open and accessible way.

Where are we based?

We’re based at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK, but work worldwide.