Tag: zipline

Drone company flying blood around Rwanda says Australia could be next

By James Elton-Pym

Australia’s civil aviation regulator says a similar program would need permission to stretch the current rules but could get off the ground soon.

A drone company that inked a landmark deal with the government of Rwanda to deliver blood and medical supplies to the country’s regional hospitals is actively considering similar projects in the United States and Australia.

Zipline International claims its long-range drones have carried out 3,500 emergency deliveries over 18 months in Rwanda.

Blood deliveries that previously took three to five hours in a cooler bag can now be achieved in 15 to 30 minutes on average, the company claims.

Zipline’s head of global operations, Dan Czerwonka, says hospitals have gradually come to trust the deliveries and are no longer stockpiling blood, driving wastage through expiry down to “almost zero”.

Read More: SBS News

Big day for drones as US endorses tests of package delivery and more


The FAA is greasing the skids for pilot projects that could mean a defibrillator drops from the sky just when you need it.

With new federal support announced Wednesday, it’s a good day for drone companies trying to make their way into an airspace that’s crowded with regulations, safety concerns, social difficulties and other obstacles.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced 10 test projects that will bring the unmanned aircraft into the skies. That means faster approval for experiments that could have drones sending medical supplies like blood and defibrillators, inspecting industrial sites from the air and even transporting people by air.

“Our country is on the verge of the most significant new development in aviation since the emergence of the jet age,” Chao said at a press conference. “We’ve got to create a path forward for the safe integration of drones if our country is to remain a global aviation leader and reap the safety and economic benefits drones have to offer.”

The projects are part of an effort called the Integration Pilot Program announced in November. Each matches drone companies and state or local governments willing to shoulder some of the responsibilities for developing the technology.

Many folks have purchased drones as novelties, but some of the most interesting work with the aircraft are business uses. Real estate agents could provide prospective buyers with aerial views of properties, oil refineries and pipeline operators could inspect facilities, and of course Amazon could whisk products to your home for near-instant gratification of consumer impulses.

Read More: CNet

First drone delivery network for medicines set to expand

ATLANTA: April 13, 2018. The UPS Foundation has awarded grants and in-kind support of over US$16 million to non-profit, NGOs and United Nations agencies for humanitarian relief, community resilience and safety programs worldwide.

In 2016 UPS says it invested nearly 2.7 million volunteer hours and more than US$116 million in global communities.

In addition to providing support for disaster response, preparedness and recovery, supply chains and improving global road safety, the UPS Foundation is expanding its work with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Zipline, a California-based robotics company, to deliver life-saving blood, medicines and vaccines to remote communities in Rwanda via drone.

Since October 2016 the partnership has made more than 4,000 drone deliveries of over 7,000 units of blood to remote hospitals across the country. As a result of its success, “the world’s first national medical drone delivery network” is being extended throughout Rwanda this year.

“This groundbreaking partnership with Gavi and Zipline provides access to life-saving medical supplies in only minutes rather than hours for millions of men, women and children in need,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. “With this expansion, the reach of the drone program will double from s million to 12 million people across Rwanda. Additionally, the initiative will expand to deliver basic medications, vaccines, and medical supplies to hospitals and health clinics via drone.”

Read More: Freight Week

The World’s Fastest Commercial Drone Will Drop Blood on the US This Year

By Daniel Oberhaus

Zipline has been using its drones for months to deliver lifesaving blood to Rwandan villages. Now it’s coming to the US.

For the last two years, a US drone delivery company called Zipline has flying blood around East Africa.

The company was founded on the idea that it could save lives by using drones to drastically reduce the delivery time for blood, plasma, and other critical supplies to medical clinics in rural areas. Since it started its pilot program in Rwanda in 2016, Zipline’s drones have flown more than 185,000 miles and now account for 20 percent of the the country’s blood supply in rural areas, according to IEEE. Zipline has since expanded its services to Tanzania, and may begin offering similar services in the US this year.

By early May, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to unveil its “UAS Integration Pilot Program.” This is, essentially, the federal government’s first comprehensive framework for operating commercial drone fleets in the United States. So far, a number of companies ranging from Amazon to Domino’s have done one-off stunt drone deliveries. But FAA regulations—or lack thereof—meant these companies couldn’t build these stunts out into a full-fledged commercial drone delivery service.
Read More: MotherBoard


WHEN I FIRST visited Zipline, two years ago, the startup was operating out of a pile of shipping containers, in a cow-filled field on the Pacific Coast, in Northern California. Now, when I round the corner on the dirt road leading to the startup’s new test range, I’m met by what looks like a prototype lunar base dotted with stretched white tents and hulking containers.

Tall metal trusses point into the sky, topped by spiky metal ball-shaped lightning conductors. There is also a row of “Zipline Parking Only” signs, although I haven’t seen anything but cows for miles around.

This is where Zipline is testing what it calls the fastest commercial delivery drone in the world. It can hit 80 mph, fly 100 miles at a time, carry 3.8 pounds. And it’s designed for easy assembly and repairs in the field.

Read More: WIRED