drones -to-save-lives

Rwanda has commissioned the world’s first regular drone delivery system to supply bags of blood, plasma and coagulants to 21 transfusion centers in the west of the central African country, where it is difficult to reach on time by road. The 15 drones that are part of the system automatically fly up to 150 kilometers and drop their “merchandise” with a small parachute over the delivery point, without having to land. Hospitals can order blood via text message and have it delivered within 15 minutes, according to The Verge.

The service has been launched by robotics startup – from Silicon Valley – Zipline, through an agreement with the department of Rwandan government health. Rwanda has bet heavily on drone technology, and plans to build a drone airport by 2020.

According to the BBC, drones had already been used occasionally for humanitarian purposes in Africa – to deliver blood in Madagascar or to monitor a Red Cross refugee camp in Uganda – but it is difficult to regulate its use in most of the continent due to the suspicions it arouses.