Dronfies Labs: Drone management systems for low connectivity settings

UNICEF Innovation Fund Cohort: Drones

Sebastián Macías
aerial top view of a flooded area in Uruguay taken by a Drone
Dronfies Labs
06 December 2019

Emergency situations such as natural disasters put thousands of human lives at risk each year, especially children's lives. Drones have great potential to quickly reach highly inaccessible areas, cover vast areas in a short time and generate a large amount of data. Despite this, their use in emergency response tasks and prevention is still limited by the high cost of equipment, the lack of knowledge of their potential by emergency services and the coordination of voluntary operators with official rescue services and aeronautical authorities. 

Dronfies Labs is developing an intelligent flight system to support real time data sharing for airspace management  and multiple drone operation coordination. 

In 2018, Dronfies Labs started working with SINAE, the Uruguayan national emergency agency to better understand how we can assist response teams in emergency scenarios. After participating in the mapping of a flooded area, key learnings underpinned were the limited access to data-sharing, safe and legal access to airspace as well as operational costs and coordination with aircrafts. 



Our team provides support to drone operations during emergency situations such as natural disasters, compatible with a large variety of consumer drones. Intelligent flight systems allow Search And Rescue (SAR) teams to perform efficient searches and collect accurate flight data without expert knowledge in drone use needed. Our team aims to make possible more cost efficient searches and facilitate data collection and analysis (especially for flooding). Dronfies Labs will build upon our platform which brings together a network of certified drone operators in order to increase the availability of drones and operators to be readily deployable in case of an emergency. 

Our platform provides real-time data sharing for airspace management, coordination and access for drone pilots in low-connectivity settings following NASA and Federal Aviation Authority standards.  

Local authorities can set no-fly zones for drones in order to perform aircraft flights where needed, thereafter on the platform drone owners can register as volunteers and be notified if needed and seamlessly take part in any operation authorities see fit. Multiple drones can perform SAR activities, simultaneously covering large areas in a short time span allowing for prompt response for the delivery of critical supplies like water and medicine to hard-to-reach areas.

Woman looking at 2 computer monitors
Dronfies Labs


Dronfies Labs was created in 2017 in the "Ingenio" business incubator and supported by the National Research and Innovation Agency of Uruguay. These almost 3 years of experience have allowed us to help our clients to be able to apply drones in their business processes, understanding their problems and integrating drones as they are: the active end of an IOT system, an automated source of acquisition of data.

We are a group of engineers and professionals passionate about drones, motivated by the development of this technology and the impact it generates on society.

As part of our mission, we collaborated with aeronautical authorities and other industry players to enhance our development process. 



We are very excited to join other startups in the UNICEF Innovation Fund ecosystem, and believe this project is a great opportunity to transform the drones that millions of people already have around the world into powerful tools to help people during disasters. 

We expect our solution to help lower emergency drone operations’ overall cost and make them more accessible and easier to execute.