A graduate student at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created a prototype of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that acts as a mini autonomous ambulance by bringing medical supplies to a patient in need.
After an emergency-response team receives a call for help, the aircraft – designed by Alec Momont in the university’s industrial design engineering program – can fly around 62 mph to a patient within a 7.5-mile radius in under one minute, according to a post from the university.
The GPS-equipped UAS finds the patient through the caller’s phone signal and can carry a defibrillator – or a payload of up to nearly 9 pounds – to him or her. Through the aircraft’s web cam, the emergency team can watch and talk with anyone who needs instructions at the scene.
The UAS would have an estimated cost of 15,000 EUR – or around $19,000 – and could be brought to the market in at least five years, the report says. According to Momont, because the aircraft gets to a patient significantly faster than an ambulance can, his or her chance of surviving cardiac arrest is increased from 8% to 80%.
“Let’s use drones for a good purpose,” Momont says in a YouTube video. “Let us use drones to save lives.”
Read the university’s full post here.