Humanitarian Logistics

On the Use of Drones and UAVs

Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are popular buzzwords gaining increased attention in the media and research. As I know from own experience, incorporating UAVs in your work leads to highly interesting and complex research questions.

Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are popular buzzwords gaining increased attention in the media and research. As I know from own experience, incorporating UAVs in your work leads to highly interesting and complex research questions.

In recent work, natural disasters in which key connections to an area are restricted, e.g., due to inundation, are considered. To supply the area with relief goods, either special equipment such as off-road vehicles is required or, alternatively, goods can be transported by air. A decision support system is developed to schedule transfers of relief goods and route UAVs and off-road vehicles, enabling one to investigate various relief strategies.

Nevertheless, to facilitate a wide-spread use of UAVs, in addition to numerous legal and ethical questions, substantial enhancements in routing and planning procedures are required to guarantee robust operations in the future. Humanitarian logistics certainly provides an interesting field to start testing real-world implementation.

Reference:
–          Fikar, C, Gronalt, M, Hirsch, P (2016) A decision support system for coordinated disaster relief distribution. Expert Systems with Applications 57, 104-116. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2016.03.039; Kudos: http://goo.gl/wRwrC8

Image: BOKU

 

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Christian Fikar is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Production Management at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). Until May 2018, he was part of the Institute for Production and Logistics at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). His research fields include logistics, supply chain management and related decision support systems to investigate and optimize delivery processes, particularly for humanitarian and e-grocery operations.

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