I know this forum focuses mainly on individuals wanting to get the most out of OpenPPG and technical discussions about the design, but I’ve been considering the ways that electric paramotors could be useful in other areas and though I’d share some of my thoughts/research. A lot of these are elaborations on ways ultralights, PPGs, and drones have been used in the past, but with the new extreme of portability and cost Paul’s design affords, I think there is a lot of unlocked potential.
- The people who run these teams need to be able to monitor big stretches of land and respond quickly to poachers or injured animals. The ability to put someone into the air to look around and then down where they’re needed would be super useful.
- A number of groups have tried using drones, but some have cancelled their programs due to problems with the technology
- Some non-profit conservation groups have funded ultralights for surveillance and response which have been really effective and awesome
- ePPG could be an even more versatile and easier to deploy vehicle in a similar way (keep it in the back of the land rover, fly as needed to get to hard to reach places fast)
Disaster Relief/Search and Rescue
- In countries where there’s a big disaster (think earthquake in Haiti) there’s often a ton of medical emergencies which need to be tended to, but infrastructure like road have often been destroyed in the disaster
- If you could get first responders in to survey different areas’ needs/fly in with small first aid kits you could have a much quicker response and direct bigger resources like helicopters and supply drops more effectively
- Drones let you see from above, but you can’t talk to people on the ground or tend to the injured
- Helicopters are obviously a better option for evacuation/supply drops, but they’re really expensive to buy, fly, and maintain
- The idea of using ultralights has been pitched before, but these are the old clunky kind without the kind of transportability an ePPG could provide and the cost is like 10x compared to an ePPG
- Here’s a paper I found that talks about search and rescue uses for PPGs, but it focuses on the military applications rather than humanitarian ones
Maintaining Rural/Off the Beaten Path Infrastructure:
- This goes hand in hand with the disaster relief bit
- I know a woman who works doing this in Colorado, she has to trek for miles off road (in snowshoes during the winter) to get to satellite dishes and other remote hardware which she needs to fiddle with to restore service
- She carries very few tools (meaning they wouldn’t be too heavy for an ePPG)
- There are a lot of hard to maintain assets like this which are far from where roads can get to (oil pipelines, electric lines, radio antennas)
- ePPGs could help technicians respond faster to problems and keep power and communications online
- Could help fix blackouts like Puerto Rico has experienced quicker
Any thoughts on other ways ePPG’s could do good?