Using Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies in Roadless Areas

Posted on April 10, 2014  Comments (12)

This is an awesome use of technology to tackle important problems. Engineers are great.

Humanitarian drones to deliver medical supplies to roadless areas

That idea soon became a start-up called Matternet – a network for transporting matter – which aims to help the one billion people who do not have year-round access to roads.

[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 [the broken link has been removed] right now. They are Palo Alto, California.

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12 Responses to “Using Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies in Roadless Areas”

  1. Kurt Barker
    April 10th, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

    This was a great article. It is always great to read how modern technology can benefit the human race. Thank you very much for the post.

  2. Akila
    April 19th, 2014 @ 5:43 am

    Most countries using drones for war activities.By reading this article i realized that we can use modern technology to help innocent people.Not only for war.

    Great article.thank you for sharing this with us.i love to read this kind of articles. waiting for more 😀

  3. David
    June 5th, 2014 @ 9:03 am

    I do see many of the benefits that could be achieved. It’s still kinda scary though. Sometimes it feels like technology moves too fast.

  4. Angel Aulani
    June 9th, 2014 @ 6:54 am

    In my village that full of forest and roadless, drone will useful for our village, specially for CSR program. Seems like it need more money to buy or using drone on our village 🙁

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    August 29th, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    “It also shows the location of the closest automated electronic defibrillator (if there is one nearby) as well as a reminder about how to do CPR, just in case the user has an adrenaline-induced brain-freeze…”

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  12. Alex (from the UK)
    February 5th, 2020 @ 10:37 am

    Wow its amazing whats happening with medicine and technology these days.

    Drones are the future for things like this.

    Great stuff and great website.


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