In more lighthearted news, the massive mobile company AT&T recently put their mark on drone technology. Their project, which aims to help deliver medical supplies (specifically in disaster-stricken areas like Puerto Rico currently), revolves around drone delivery.
AT&T partnered up with the company Softbox, whose focus is controlled-temperature packaging for products. With the two combined, they hope to create a thermally stable drone transport. With it, hospitals and clinics can send medicine, blood, and even organs without the fear of temperature ruining the items.
They currently tested their prototype thermal drone on the field. It flew in Puerto Rico, where relief efforts have been up for most of the year.
Softbox Thermal Drones
The main problem with deliveries is time. Time prevents essentials like food or medicine to arrive in time of need. Time also damages the product – either because it needs specific temperatures or because of longevity outside its containers. Drones solve that problem easily. They can fly miles at a time at high speeds, ensuring that the target gets their shipment. But that is not enough. For extremely vital products like medicine or even organ transplants, time and a proper container is necessary. A container that will not affect the internal temperature no matter what happens on the outside. That is what Softbox and AT&T plan to accomplish.
If this takes off (no pun intended) medical supplies can fly from major hospitals and health centers into rural areas more easily.
The specs behind this creation is a combination of efforts between the two companies. Softbox provides the thermally stable container, while AT&T’s software tracks and monitors the status of the container. It can sense the temperature both in and outside, making sure the package gets the correct temperature for the trip. They also track the package from the source to its destination the entire duration, so you can be sure your items are on the way.
The success of the prototypes and test flights can create an opening for more of these to come in the near future. This would help immensely in poor areas, as well as those far from main cities. The lack of access on medicine is a huge problem that this solution may be able to solve once and for all.