Vaccines to be transported via drones

Melbourne-based start-up, Swoop Aero is one of the first of two companies in the world to be awarded a commercial contract to deliver life-saving vaccines to communities in Vanuatu. Considering the difficulties associated with the costs and logistics of transporting vaccines to remote villages, these autonomous drones will provide a cost-effective and reliable means of delivering serums.

Swoop Aero’s drones have the capacity to carry more than 2kg and can travel up to 110km. The aircraft, engineered from a combination of commercial components and the company’s own technology, contains a carbon fibre frame, covered with a 3D-printed shell to yield a flight unit that is light, yet strong. Better still, by using 3D printers the drones can be fabricated in as little as two and a half days. The initiative supported by UNICEF has great potential to solve the problem of medicine delivery to remote areas within a matter of hours, cutting delivery that ordinarily takes days on foot.

 

This story is featured in the 2 November 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.