First cargo drone deliveries in Amazon Rainforest are successful.
The Amazon is home to thousands of local indigenous communities spread across very remote areas. As a result, these sparsely populated communities rarely have reliable access to essential medicines and public health services. For example, local doctors in the region report an average of 45 snakebites per month and no rapid access to antivenom. We recently traveled to the rain-forest to learn more about these challenges, and to explore whether cargo drones (UAVs) could realistically be used to overcome some of them in a sustainable manner. We’re excited to share that our cargo drone flights in the Amazon were a big success!
This unique and successful pilot project was a big team effort including our Peru Flying Labs Coordinator Juan Bergelund, UAV del Peru, and the Peruvian Ministry of Health, along with some of Peru’s leading public health experts. We carried out both day and night autonomous flights between local health hub Contamana and the remote village of Pampa Hermosa around 40 kilometers away. The drones delivered life-saving antivenom as well as blood samples. The flights took around 35 minutes compared to traditional riverboat transportation, which can take up to 6 hours.
We have already been asked by multiple local authorities in the region to carry out additional flights in coming months. These flights will test the aerial delivery of medical supplies across 100+ kilometers. A detailed review of our recent flight tests will be released in early January along with high definition pictures and videos. Our Peru Flying Labs will also be working on this Zika reduction project in Peru using cargo drones.