Using Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies in Roadless Areas
Posted on April 10, 2014 Comments (8)
This is an awesome use of technology to tackle important problems. Engineers are great.
[Andreas] Raptopoulos said the new system would be used to leapfrog the building of infrastructure, in the same way mobile networks have overtaken fixed lines in poorly connected countries.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 85% of roads are inaccessible during the wet season, cutting off huge swaths of the population and hindering the transport of medical supplies, he said.
There are three parts to the system delivering medical goods: the UAVs themselves, landing stations where packages can be dropped off and transferred, and the software that ensures vehicles get securely from point to point. Because of their short battery life, networks of drones are needed to work together, shuttling between ground stations
Approximate costings from Matternet put the price of unmanned aerial vehicles at £6,000 each and ground stations at £3,000 each. A network of five ground stations and 10 UAVs, as well as setup and training, would cost a charity in the region of £90,000, according to Raptopoulos. An eight-propeller drone can carry 2kg and travel 10km in good weather. Batteries need to be replaced every 600 cycles.
They are hiring: software engineer and avionic engineering right now. They are Palo Alto, California.