IBM giving away 1,500 DJI Tello drones for developer competition

From the Next Web:

IBM‘s Developer Drone Drop 2019 contest is officially underway. Now through June 16 the company will give away 1,500 drones to developers who enter. Why is IBM giving away free drones? It hopes you’ll use them to deliver AI-powered solutions to the problems caused by natural disasters.

The contest officially started last week, but there’s plenty of time to sign up. You don’t have to be an expert or have any code built already to enter – the winners will be selected at random, not by judges. Winners will receive more than just a robot, according to IBM:

The DJI Tello drone is more than just a cool prize. We’ll give you code patterns to unlock its potential, and introduce you to new skills around visual recognition, AI and machine learning.

The giveaway comes courtesy of IBM‘s Code and Response, a new initiative this year from the company that aims to empower developers with the resources and support to implement original technology-based solutions to humanity’s open problems. Inspiring developers who, otherwise, might not have access to IBM‘s resources and mentors is a strategy that’s already paying off for the company.

TNW spoke to IBM Code and Response CTO Daniel Krook to ask why IBM was giving away drones for the second year in a row. He told us:

Who doesn’t like free drones? It’s about inspiring people … it’s not just altruism on IBM‘s part, we believe this technology can help humanity and IBM is a part of humanity.

One of last year’s hackathon winners, Pedro Cruz, developed his drone-based disaster relief tech after experiencing the devastation of Puerto Rico by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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