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India’s Redwing Aerospace drones help deliver polio vaccines in Papua New Guinea

Bengaluru-based Redwing Aerospace reports its drones have been used in a successful programme to deliver vaccines in polio-afflicted Papua New Guinea.

According to Your Story publication: “In 2018, Redwing Aerospace was selected to be a part of the Techstars US accelerator programme. Through this, they were contacted by WeRobotics, a not-for-profit organisation, that has head offices in Switzerland and the US and focuses on deep-tech solutions for problems… The team needed to build roughly 25 to 30 drones for close to 5,000 deliveries. Currently, one drone does close to 180 deliveries a day. As the drone is primarily used for medicine deliveries, it has an inbuilt temperature logger that notes the temperature of the vaccines during the flight…

“The delivery works on a hub-and-spoke model. The team gets a message on the inventory needed. This is loaded at the central hub , and the drones take off, after the regular pre-flight tests and checks of wind conditions, audio pilot systems, and GPS tracker. The coordinates are fed into the systems and the health examiner picks up the vials at the drop-off point.”

According to a company blog:

“We were invited by the CDC and WeRobotics to Papua New Guinea to demonstrate our VTOL drones. The purpose of the training was to engage key stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges of using cargo drones in the wake of PNG’s most recent polio outbreak. An important component of the training was a hands-on demo of cargo drone deliveries. There were three key reasons for making this operational demo part of the training: 1) introduce stakeholders to cargo drone technology and standard operating procedures; 2) test how quickly a cargo drone team could be deployed; 3) test how quickly flight permissions could be secured from PNG’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). WeRobotics was given 10 weeks to implement the project. It was completed in 8 weeks.” 

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