Drone transports organ to hospital for the first time
A drone can now deliver organs to transplant donors at a hospital. (Image Credit: Mark Teske/University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Transporting organs to transplant patients will soon have a much different and more efficient route. A drone has already achieved this by delivery a kidney to a patient who had been waiting for nearly a decade for an organ donor. The kidney was transported on a 10 minute, 2.7-mile flight from Baltimore's St. Agnes Hospital to the University of Maryland medical center, and doctors managed to transplant the kidney a few hours after delivery. The idea was to cut back on delivery times due to too many delays. Dr. Joseph R. Scalea came up with the idea and completed the project with aviation and engineering experts from UMD. 44 test flights lasting over 700 hours had been carried out from the university, and the team ensured the flights came with backup propellers and moors, a backup power distribution board, parachute recovery system, and dual batteries. It also included logistics and flight tracking support from AiRXOS. Using drones to deliver organs is safer than using an ambulance and cuts down on delivery time. It's also possible to monitor the organ's temperature, ETA of the drone and other stats. The new technology can help with transplantation methods and helps to increase the amount of organs available.
Washington passes bill to allow robots to deliver packages
On April 30th, the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee signed a bill that allows delivery bots to be used on sidewalks and crosswalks. The bill has gathered support from Starship Technologies, a company that focuses on robots making local deliveries. Under the new regulations, the bots cannot go over six miles per hour, cannot carry over 120 pounds, must be monitored and controlled by an operator, must yield and must have working brakes and lights. Using delivery robots has, so far, reduced pollution and congestion levels in the streets due to the bots being powered by electricity. They also give companies an advantage by using the technology to build up their infrastructure through Amazon. There have also been some concerns over these robots affecting the safety of pedestrians, even though there have been no signs of the bots interfering with them. The bots come equipped with GPS, a computer vision system and machine learning, which allows the robots to map the surrounding area, and navigate safely through crowded areas. Virginia first introduced delivery bots in 2017 and since then, Idaho, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Utah, and Arizona have all joined in on the movement to legalize robot deliveries. FedEx has also taken a noticeable interest in the technology, which also means that other states will have to address the use of delivery bots.
Amazon could deploy warehouse bots in 10 years
Warehouse bots could be making an appearance in Amazon warehouses. (Image Credit: POOL / New Reuters)
Amazon has made it known that the company will not be using robots in its warehouses to replace human workers. According to Amazon's director of robotics fulfillment, Scott Anderson, the technology is quite limited right now. Anderson said even though the company is looking at a range of automation technologies, it doesn't mean the company will be using robots in place of human workers anytime soon. He did, however, give a ten-year timeline before their warehouses become automated. Nowadays, Amazon warehouses that have robots are only handling general merchandise like homewares and bikes, but the bots are limited in how they function. They cannot lift up items from their bins without causing any damages to other products, and they also cannot pick up more than one item at a time, which would make them more reliable and efficient than human workers. Amazon announced last month that they will make plans to deliver packages to Prime members in just one day instead of two and has set a four-hour timeline, setting it to leave the warehouse after the order was made. Amazon will very likely be using the technology once it's created.
Drone delivery service, Wing, receives FAA certificate
The delivery drones will send out various goods to residents. (Image Credit: Wing)
On April 23, 2019, Alphabet's Wing division received their Air Carrier Certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They're the first drone delivery company to receive it, allowing Wing to start their first drone delivery service. The company will also be aiming for its first delivery test-run later on this year. Wing will also be working with the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP) in Southwest Virginia. The company will also be getting in touch with residents in surrounding areas to showcase the delivery system and to acquire feedback. Alphabet launched wing in 2014, and the division was first granted permission to test flight their drones in 2016. They have also successfully flown 70,000 test flights without issue in Australia while making over 3,000 deliveries. The drones will also be able to deliver various goods and medical supplies such as medicine and food. The company seems to have a focus on delivering food to residents. In the past, Wing had delivered breakfast to a Virginia family through the drone delivery system as part of validation testing with the FAA. They also transported burritos to a Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. No matter what Wing plans on transporting to residents, acquiring FAA's first Air Carrier Certification is the most important step towards making drone deliveries possible.
Zipline will transport medicine to Ghana
Zipline's drone will transport medicine and various vaccines to nearby remote hospitals stationed in Ghana. (Image Credit: Zipline)
Zipline, a Californian company has been using unmanned aircraft to transport various important medicines and blood to hospitals, covering large distances in Rwanda. The company is also in the process of expanding its service in Africa. It will be the largest drone delivery network to deliver a wide range of medicines, vaccines and blood to over 2,000 clinics in Ghana. Some of the treatments will include vaccines for polio, tetanus and diphtheria, which are all supplied by the World Health Organization's Expanded Project on Immunization. The delivery is quick and efficient as health workers will have the ability to order medicine by text message and they can expect delivery in thirty minutes by a parachute drop. The drone can still reach a vast distance up to 160 kilometers and that hasn't changed in the two years it's been in service. It's also pretty speedy, reaching speeds of up to 110km/hour, which is a huge plus when hospitals can be stationed in remote areas and can often run low on supplies for treatment. The drone delivery service also doesn't need any new infrastructure or new supply routes. Zipline's drone has the potential to reach people who are 15-25 minutes away, which means that it can reach any destination on the GPS, covering a large area.
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