Zipline: it's an organization you should know about - and it's coming to America.
The medical, life-saving, blood carrying airplanes of California based company Zipline are set to expand their operations. Up until now, they've mostly been based in the African country of Rwanda where they provide an on-demand service for people in desperate need. Their impact since missions started in 2014 has already been massive. However, Zipline has even bigger ambitions.
Zipline comes to America
Over the last few years, Zipline's 'Zip' drones have been refined and improved through thousands of successful launches and recoveries. This has enabled the organization to create a reliable service that can stand up to bad weather, rapid increases in demand and emergency calls. It's this that has helped the company to become one of the first ready to implement a drone service in a heavily populated nation such as the US.
"Zipline is working with state governments across the country to launch its medical drone delivery as a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recently announced UAS Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP)."
"A key priority of the program is integrating autonomous, beyond visual line of sight flights over populated areas into the FAA’s National Airspace System. The FAA is expected to formally approve UASIPP projects in the coming weeks and enter into formal Memorandums of Agreement with applicants by May 7th, 2018".
It's not going to take long either. Any Zipline projects chosen as a part of this process are expected to commence operation by the end of 2018. That isn't actually that far away!
As well as expanding its service to the United States, in August of 2017 Zipline announced plans to launch a huge drone delivery service in Tanzania in order to provide on-demand access to critical life-saving aid. According to the organization, the aircraft will carry and deliver "blood transfusion supplies, emergency vaccines, HIV medications, antimalarials, antibiotics, lab reagents, and basic surgical supplies". The launch and recovery facilities have already started construction and progress is underway.
The idea is simple - create a physical distribution system based primarily on distributing things that people need the most. It's a system that works with the same sort of technology that has made our aviation hobby possible over the past ten years. The company is taking motors, batteries and GPS navigation and building something truly remarkable.
"Zipline’s long-term mission is to build instant delivery for the planet, allowing on-demand delivery of medicines and other products at low cost without using a drop of gasoline."
To better understand how zipline became an awesome force for medical progress in the world, this TED talk with the founder of Zipline lets you into the story of how it all started.
What are your thoughts on technology like this and how it's benefiting people around the world? Write a comment below!
Article by James Whomsley
Editor of FliteTest.com