Monday 23 April 2018

Drones to deliver medical aid in Rwanda from July


Mark O'Beirne

American startup Zipline is to provide drones to western Rwanda, which will deliver essential medical supplies to 21 hospitals and clinics on demand.

Drones are to start delivering essential medical supplies to 21 hospitals and clinics in western Rwanda from July.

The drones are capable of carrying up to 1.5kg of medicine and blood, flying at up to 290km/h, and can make 50 to 150 deliveries a day. They follow a pre-determined flight path stored in a SIM card, fly to their destination and drop supplies attached to a paper parachute from a low altitude, and then return home.

American startup Zipline makes the drones and signed a contract with the country’s government in February. These drones could be an invaluable resource in the country, as a clinic could send a text to request supplies and have them dropped off within 30 minutes if within 150km of the UAV’s hub.

Zipline has plans for expansion and says that it will deploy drones in other developing nations this year.

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