Courier Drones for Healthcare Deliveries

Courier Drones for Healthcare Deliveries


We were working with Dr. Timothy Amukele at Johns Hopkins Medicine who is interested in trying to improve health care in
rural Africa one of the things that we sort of take for granted in our
healthcare here is you can go to a doctor if they draw your blood do
testing on your blood sample then you go see the doctor he tells you how you’re
doing now in rural Africa they have the clinics they have the labs to do the
testing but what they don’t have is very good roads in fact the roads are
extremely rough and the process for delivering the sample to the lab is
they’ll put them in the back of a motorcycle the back of a truck it rides
down this bumpy road and what happens is the continual bumping of driving down
that road will damage the blood samples so I’m dr. Moo clay I said well what if
I put this in a drone he would load samples in there to test we’d fly them
and even with a fairly rough takeoff and a fairly rough landing he showed that
that didn’t damage the blood sample it has to be the continuous bumping not an
instantaneous one in a flight so dr. mukajee met some folks who are aware of
the swarming autonomy work that we do we met with him and said hey yeah we can
take your idea and we’ll turn that into a system so working together here with
some under engineers as we did flight testing where we took different vehicles
out into the field we’re using fixed-wing aircraft here specifically to
maximize the endurance because of the distances between these sites and we
also want to maximize the payload they can carry so that we’ve got the best
possible efficiency for these travels we also did some simulation testing where
we could show that we could do a flight controlled landing in its narrow space
that’s particularly important in some of these rural clinics where you might have
kids playing soccer right next to the clinic you need this plane to land in a
fairly tight spot on a consistent basis and by the way all of this has to be
completely autonomous and that’s why you know we worked on this from a
perspective of the normal autonomy work we do here and all the people at the
clinic have to do is come out put their samples in swap batteries on the plane
and then throw the plane back into the air and it knows where to go it’ll fly
back to the lab and deliver the samples so we did the flight testing simulation
of the landing and then a large simulation where we showed logistically
how many planes you would need what would happen to all the samples over
time and we’d say they’d start building up their planes would come pick them up
at the automat they take them back to the lab and we
could tell exactly how old the samples will get how many planes you would need
so we can make an estimate of how much it would cost to deliver this improve
health care to a region

Daniel Yohans

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