Delivery drones these days are small, quick, and lightweight. It gets the job done – that is, if the job you want involves delivering small items from fast food places. If you really can’t wait for that item you got from an online store, drones may be your solution. One push of a button can send a delivery drone to your door – with item at hand.
But what about the bigger picture of it all? Forget delivering pizza to your door. What about delivering items that can saving lives?
A step towards that has recently started trending over the world. From delivering medicine from hospitals to field clinics, to even delivering blood donations. Yes, the speed, carrying capabilities, and flight of drones are now used for more important things.
These trends in using drones in the medical field upped the ante dramatically recently, with the announcement of an ambitious idea. The plans are to hopefully create a drone that can lift people using drone technology to medical facilities.
Ambulance Drone Concept
The idea itself is so great that it even won a $20,000 reward by the Prince Alvaro de Orleans-Borbon Grant. The grant was awarded at the recently concluded 2nd FAI International Drone Conference held in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The man behind this ambulance drone concept is Vincenzo Navateri from Italy. The grant will go to actually making this ‘ambulance drone’ a reality, as well as aid Navateri in his other drone endeavors.
As far as the concept is concerned, the drone’s specs are, to say the least, ambitious.
For one, the ambulance drone – to fulfill its namesake – needs to carry people. That would require a lot of lifting power. That is something today’s drones currently do not have mastery of. Taxi drones are in production and testing, but it may yet be years before we see them commonplace in public. The drone, based on the design, can carry one full-sized adult (drone specifically mentions a maximum of 120 kg). Its body has a stretcher, while surrounding it are the eight rotors that will lift the entire thing up. The rotors can help with lifting the load off the ground, but power source will now be the next question.
Aside from the stretcher, the drone also has onboard oxygen tanks, as well as other medical devices for patient monitoring. Along with those medical gear are the basics of drones, such as cameras and sensors. Think about it – that is a lot of cargo for one drone to have.
Another thing that adds strain to the drone’s theoretical power supply is the distance it can travel. The ambulance drone plans on reaching 150 kilometers in a single battery. It also boasts a speed reaching 110 km per hour, while having an altitude reach of 1000 meters.
Apart from all that, the drone is also autonomous. This means that in case of an emergency, responders will only need to strap on the patient, and the drone will head to its predetermined destination.
That is a lot of promise for a drone in a world where technology may not yet even exist. Only time will tell if the drone will even become something in reality, or something that will remain in the blueprints of history. A concept that maybe, just maybe, too good to be true.