Drones modified for medical supply airdrops in Ukraine

Drones modified for medical supply airdrops in Ukraine

Dragonfly picture

ARLINGTON, Va. — A company specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles has modified a drone to deliver vital medical supplies to Ukrainian civilians in hard-to-reach areas.

Draganfly, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company that has been manufacturing drones for the military and government sectors for more than two decades, recently partnered with US nonprofit organization Revived Soldiers Ukraine to provide a fleet of their drones for humanitarian efforts.

The company initially donated three drones in March, but Revived Soldiers Ukraine has purchased 10 more planes, hoping Draganfly will “deliver up to a few hundred drones” by the end of the year, said Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell.

Medical response drones can carry up to 35 pounds of supplies in a temperature-controlled box, according to a press release from Draganfly. The average drone flies five missions a day and has a range of 12.4 miles, Chell added.

One of the challenges Draganfly and its partners in Ukraine face is that civilians don’t always know if they can be sure a drone is friendly, he said.

“What we found out pretty quickly there was that if you put a drone on the ground, people aren’t that excited to come out and meet the drone and take something away from them,” did he declare.

In response, Draganfly added a “quick release mechanism” to the drones, Chell said.

“The drone flies into the area, it hovers for about two seconds about two feet off the ground, it drops the box, then it comes out of there,” he explained. This allows civilians on the ground to assess the package and ensure it is safe while limiting the risk of the drone being shot down, he added.

The company has also deployed three reconnaissance drones to Ukraine and is actively developing a group of mine clearance drones which it hopes to deploy later this year.

Their performance in Ukraine is noticed and they are in high demand, Chell said. “We have interests from all over the world and we do our best to accommodate inquiries…and orders.” There are now several agencies now looking to deploy Draganfly drones, he added.


Topics: International Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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