This Is How Drones Will Deliver Blood and Drugs in Rwanda

Image by Zipline
Image by Zipline

Forget your Amazon package arriving beneath a drone: In Rwanda this summer, urgent deliveries of blood and drugs will be dropped by drones to help save lives.


ABC News reports that a company called Zipline International showed off the delivery service in San Francisco over the weekend. It will use 22-pound fixed-wing drones to drop supplies in Rwanda as soon as July. The electric drones can reportedly fly a 75 mile round trip, using GPS to navigate.

Payloads—which can weigh up to 3.5 pounds—are dropped with a biodegradable parachute attached. The company claims that the short journey times, of around 30 minutes, mean the supplies don’t need to be refrigerated along the way.

The company will set up two delivery hubs in July, each with 10 to 15 drones to fly delivery missions to 21 different clinics across the country.

[ABC News, The Atlantic]

Contributing Editor at Gizmodo. An ex-engineer writing about science and technology.



Nice. A drone story that doesn’t make me want to shoot down a drone. I think this could be used in disaster relief situations, too.