The UK drone start-up Skyfarer based at Coventry University is finally starting trials for its drone delivery of medical supplies, reports thebusinessdesk.com.
After an initial media blitz back in late July, the business is starting tests in Warwickshire to trial the capability of drones delivering urgent medical supplies. And now, as a second-wave of Covid-19 lockdowns occur around the UK, these trials become even more important.
Skyfarer was established by Elliot Parnham in 2019 after studying aerospace engineering at university. At first, he planned to be part of an African project that delivered medical supplies to remote areas via drone. Yet, travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic has seen the company look closer to home. Today, the company is aligned with the NHS where potential supplies include plasma, blood, organs and various medical samples.
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The company received a UKP50,000 grant from Innovate UK where the project is supported by Altitude Angel, the unmanned traffic management system provider, FlyPulse, a Swedish flight management system specialist, and Coventry University’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Automotive Research (CCAAR).
Parnham commented, “We can’t be any more specific about the location of our trials in Warwickshire, but they are extremely important in the development of the business and could be a lifesaver for people in the future.” Skyfarer’s full-scale prototype drone is capable of carrying up to 5kg of supplies and fly up to 80km
And with the potential of extensive and renewed lockdowns around the UK, Parnham continued, “The drone delivery technology remains expensive, but conveying high-value items that need to be transported as quickly as possible is viable and why the strong potential for urgent medical supplies.” Adding, “This could also lead to the delivery of pharmaceuticals and PPE which, again, has been highlighted as so important during the pandemic.”
Matthew Lawrence, an advisor for Business Ready, a local support programme for tech-based SMEs, said, “This is an exciting period for Skyfarer as trials begin. We are very pleased to have been able to support the company in its journey to date.”
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(News Source: https://www.thebusinessdesk.com)
(Pic: Skyfarer Team:- Luke Pulford, Matthew Lawrence, Peter Butlin, Elliot Parnham)