New ambulance drone concept shown at TU Delft
Alec Momont of the TU Delft has designed an unmanned, autonomous navigating mini plane that can quickly deliver a defibrillator on the spot where it is needed.
A network of these drones can increase the chance of survival after cardiac arrest from 8% to 80%.
Alec Momont, of the faculty Industrial Design at TU Delft, designed a prototype ambulance drone in cooperation with innovation platform Living Tomorrow.
After a 112 call comes in reporting a cardiac arrest, the drone can quickly deliver a defibrillator to where it is needed. The drone also provides direct feedback and guidance to the people present via a live stream video and audio connection. The drone knows the location of the patient via the caller's mobile phone signal and finds its way there via GPS. The plane can fly at speeds of around 100 kilometer per hour, weighs about 4 kilograms and can carry 4 kilograms in load.
Momont's proposal is to expand the existing medical emergency infrastructure wit a network of fast and compact drones with medical aid equipment and communications capabilities.
"There are still some obstacles to the further development of the ambulance drone, says Momont. The drone can fly autonomously, but this is currently not permitted by law. A law adjustment in this area is expected in the Netherlands in 2015. The drone has not yet been tested with "real" patients and technically the "object avoidance" of the drone must be improved.
Momont nevertheless thinks that his idea can be achieved within five years.