Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, at constantly in the news with reference to military activity and surveillance in the Middle East. However, this news is not fully indicative of what drones can actually be used for. We only have to cast our minds back to last year when Amazon.com first demonstrated Prime Air, an unmanned delivery service using drones to get your package to you within 30 minutes. This sounds truly Sci-Fi but it is a realistic vision for Amazon, who aim to make drone delivery as normal as seeing delivery trucks on the roads!
But this week the use of drones for delivery has been recognised in two different fields. Firstly, the BBC reported the potential of drones to deliver blood samples to laboratories in Africa in order to more rapidly test patients suspected of having HIV. The current method of delivery via motorcycle is timely, and having only 8 specialist HIV labs in Malawi, they are often inaccessible to the vast amounts of people, and drones are being recognised as a method to bridge the gap in healthcare accessibility.
For more information, please visit BBC News.
Additionally, drones are being used to deliver small supplied from cargo ships to the shore by the world’s largest containership operator, Maersk. They also identify that drones can help to bring supplies to ships at sea so that they do not have to port as often, helping to save both time and money. Preliminary estimations show that by shuttling mail, medicine and spare ship parts, savings of up to $9000 could be achieved per ship. If you extrapolate this value across their entire fleet, this development could be huge!
For more information, please visit WSJ.
With the huge drop in drones prices recently, their use is expected to proliferate, as new ideas are being thought of everyday and companies are using them more and more dynamically. Who knows, one day they could be delivering us our pizza!
Image Credit: BBC News