We are at an age where if you hear anything about technology that sounds impossible, it is possible. From assisting in search and rescue to providing safer alternatives to surveying for the mining industry, drones are fast making their way into our daily lives. If you have really remote areas that need constant supply of medical supplies or food, what could be the next step for drone technology: delivery.
Rwanda has been chosen to test the delivery of medical supplies in the ‘drone port’ program. British architect Norman Foster proposes drones which would fly from three ports from 2020, delivering ‘precious supplies to remote areas’.
It sounds like science fiction: unmanned drones carrying emergency medicine zooming above the rolling hills of Rwanda. Eminent British architect Norman Foster has sent a proposal to set up “cargo drone routes capable of delivering urgent and precious supplies to remote areas on a massive scale”, and the East African nation of Rwanda has been chosen as a test case.
“Specialist drones can carry blood and life-saving supplies over 100km [60 miles] at minimal cost, providing an affordable alternative that can complement road-based deliveries,” the proposal reads.
Rwanda, left in ruins after genocide in 1994, has rapidly rebuilt. The government has pushed initiatives to boost technology, and the powerful president, Paul Kagame, dreams of turning the capital, Kigali, into a regional hub for investors and multinational companies. Government efforts have rapidly pushed mobile phone and internet coverage across the landlocked nation, but the rolling landscape of a nation described as the “land of a thousand hills” means physical access to some areas is more challenging.
The introduction of drones can add to the many solutions available to tackle infrastructure challenges in Rwanda.
Although the carrying of goods on UAV’s has not yet been regulated, RocketMine will be first to explore this option if it becomes implemented.
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– With thanks to The Guardian