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Flying cheetah drone wins Amazon competition

CAMBRIDGE, UK: July 05, 2017. 'Hannah M' from Ballymena, Northern Ireland has won the Amazon/UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) 'Design a Drone' competition that prompted entries from 1,700 UK students.

Hannah's 'Flying Cheetah' drone (right), which would be used by forest rangers to protect cheetahs and other wildlife, will now be exhibited at the Amazon Prime Air Lab in Cambridge for the next 12 months.

HAN All primary school students in Years Two through Five were asked to design their interpretation of a delivery drone to serve a humanitarian purpose or improve society, such as first-response medical aid, sending flowers to a loved one who is unwell, or delivering toys to children in need.

Winning students took home gift baskets of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) prizes. The first place winner in each region also earned a cash donation of £1,000 for their school, to be spent on in-school STEM resources.

Competition judge Lea Simpson, leader of the Frontier Technology Livestreaming Team at the UK Department for International Development said: "I was really impressed by the quality of the entries, they were full of creativity and anything- is-possible optimism. I believe competitions like these do an important job of sowing early seeds that technology can be a force for good. I have high hope for how this will shape tomorrow's STEM leaders."

The competition helped raise awareness of the CAA's Drone Code, a simple set of rules and guidelines that outline how to fly drones safely and within the law in the UK.

Lauren Kisser, Operations director at Amazon Prime Air commented: "I'm delighted that the Design a Drone competition encouraged these students to unleash their creative thinking on how drones can be used to improve society. The entries we received were full of innovative and thoughtful ideas that could very well change the world one day."

Amazon has a Development Centre in Cambridge working on a range of projects including delivering packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones.

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