Drones to deliver medical aid in inaccessible areas

By Indo Asian News Service | Monday, March 31, 2014 | 5:12:11 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

Washington, March 31 (IANS) A Greek entrepreneur has launched a start-up called Matternet that would use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to reach people who need emergency medical help in inaccessible areas of the world.

Washington, March 31 (IANS) A Greek entrepreneur has launched a start-up called Matternet that would use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to reach people who need emergency medical help in inaccessible areas of the world.

A brainchild of Andreas Raptopoulos, Palo Alto-based Matternet would be used to leapfrog the infrastructure hurdle in poorly-connected countries.

Matternet has already carried out test runs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in Africa.

"Eight-propeller UAVs can be used to transport small items weighing up to two kg, establishing a potentially life-saving connection in that area," the Guardian quoted Raptopoulos as saying.

An eight-propeller drone can travel up to 10 km in good weather. Batteries need to be replaced every 600 cycles.

How would it work?

There are three parts to the system delivering medical goods. The parts are drones, 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," Raptopoulos said.

The operating system would also ensure that drones do not collide.

"Somehow the world caught on to this idea of using drones for really a good cause - to do for transportation what it did for communications," said Raptopoulos.

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