Mehdi Salehi Supports Refugees' Safety with Drones
Mehdi Salehi, a part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design and a refugee who left Afghanistan in 2001 and received political asylum in Greece, is leading a project that supports the safe arrival of refugees from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Drones for Refugees is a real-time drone monitoring system and can cover the area of the Mediterranean where refugees usually cross during the day or night. It streams live footage of the refugee’s boats and their exact geographical location. These drones will support the decrease in loss of human lives by notifying rescue teams with no delay.
In case of an accident in the middle of the sea this system can:
- Reduce the time and increase the accuracy of the arrival of volunteers and search and rescue teams at the accident spot.
- The system can drop a first aid kit from the drone for the refugees. (second phase)
- Lastly it can display short messages on the drone for refugees in various languages. (future iteration)
In addition to saving human lives, this project also encourages use of drones for social good, encourage the use of transparent media and civilian journalism, and bring awareness to people in different parts of the world about the refugee crisis through humanizing the situation.