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(Pocket-lint) - Who knew drones could be useful for something other than having fun?

You’ve seen drones for taking pictures. You’ve seen drones for getting access to hard-to-reach areas. You’ve seen drones for delivering stuff. You’ve seen drones for monitoring. You’ve even seen drones for bombing.

You’ve seen drones for a several purposes, basically, but if you really think about it, there isn’t too much variety  in terms of form and functionality. Drones for Good hopes to change that.

It’s a new competition by the United Arab Emirates, focused on encouraging people to develop civilian-use drones for, well, good. And it’s giving one grand-prize winner a $1 million prize. The prize was meant to go to whoever made the most feature-rich drone capable of improving lives, and Drones for Good's panel of judges decided that was Flyability.

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Drones for Good's inaugural competition received more than 800 entries from 57 countries. The submissions targeted a range of sectors, such as environment and disaster relief, but all of them shared a common goal of trying to make world a better place. There were drone prototypes for tree-planting, detecting land mines, transporting organs, and more.

The competition's panel of judges combed through all the innovating ideas and selected 19 international semi-finalists. The semi-finalists also got the chance to gave a live demo of their drones to an audience filled with venture capitalists and other potential investors, meaning we’ll more than likely see many of them one day in the future.

What is Flyability?

Flyability is the drone-making team from Switzerland that won the $1 million grand prize in the international competition. It designed Gimball, a drone that can enter confined spaces and safely fly close to humans.

As you can see from the video above, Gimball features a rotating cage that prevents it from crashing into obstacles and allows it to navigate in challenging environments without losing stability. It's therefore perfect for search and rescue.

"Gimball can safely fly indoors and in complex environments, is easy to fly, and can be operated close to humans," Flyability explained. "It solves multiple challenges in inspection of industrial facilities, rail and roadways, firefighting, search and rescue, marketing and communication as well as law enforcement".

You can learn more about Gimball via Flyablity's website.

What were the other semi-finalists?

Although the grand-prize winner was already revealed, you can check out all the international semi-finalists and their submission videos below. Let us know in the comments which one you thought deserved to win.

Drone: Drones for Saving Lives at Sea
Purpose: Used to detect survivors, search, and rescue on the coast
Sector: Diaster relief

Drone: Skynet HD Delivery Catchment System
Purpose: Used to integrate drone deliveries with a package catchment system
Sector: Logistics

Drone: Robolifeguard
Purpose: Used to detect interferences in protected areas and communicate with casualty
Sector: Public health

Drone: Quantum – Transition UAV
Purpose: Used to monitor and evaluate crop condition
Sector: Environment

Drone: The FRIENDS Project
Purpose: Used to help communications and transport problems that follow a disaster
Sector: Disaster relief

Drone: 4Front Robotics Highly Maneuverable UAV
Purpose: Used to locate and rescue persons from urban and industrial entrapments
Sector: Diaster relief

Drone: Archeodrone
Purpose: Used to provide an overview of a site with preconfigured flight paths and image capture
Sector: Education

Drone: Drones for Better Service Delivery in Slums
Purpose: Used to help stakeholders to re-plan, develop, or control development in slums
Sector: Logistics

Drone: Waterfly
Purpose: Used to scan and probe lakes and rivers for emerging pollutants and threats
Sector: Environment

Drone: CATUAV Landmines Detection
Purpose: Used to detect underground mines through a smart integrated system
Sector: Humanitarian aid

Drone: Drones for Planting 1 Billion Trees a Year
Purpose: Used to automate industrial scale reforestation
Sector: Environment

Drone: Ranger Drone
Purpose: Used to support local authorities to detect and arrest poachers and protect wildlife
Sector: Environment

Drone: Fully Autonomous Cargo Transportation Unmanned Helicopter System
Purpose: Used to transport cargos from one location to another
Sector: Logistics

Drone: Rapid Response Drone Mapping and Tracking
Purpose: Used to improve Distaster relief through mapping and detection of disaster areas
Sector: Disaster relief

Drone: Agriculture Remote Sensing
Purpose: Used to remotely sense and monitor agriculture
Sector: Economic development

Drone: Flyablity
Purpose: Used to "collide on obstacles" - without losing its ability to safely fly around humans
Sector: Disaster relief

Drones for Gooddrones for good winner revealed gimball is a crash proof drone perfect for search and rescue image 4

Drone: Window Cleaning Drone
Purpose: Used to autonomously clean window/surfaces at Purposegh altitudes
Sector: Logistics

Drone: Dronlife
Purpose: Used to transport organs in emergency cases
Sector: Public health

Drone: Fog Dissipation Drone
Purpose: Used to clear airport runways and other areas from fog
Sector: Environment

Writing by Elyse Betters.