The Swiss Post is using autonomous drones to deliver laboratory samples between two hospitals in the city of Lugano with a population of about 150,000 near the Italian border.
|The Swiss postal service is partnering with Matternet a California-based drone company. Matternet supplies the drones as well as the flight system. The drones have been flying since the middle of March. The drones are described as follows:|
The drones are made by American company Matternet, have a load capacity of up to two kilograms, a range of 20 kilometers, and a top speed of 36 kilometers per hour (10 meters a second). Infrared sensors are used to guide their takeoff and landings, and in the event of an emergency, the drones have a built-in parachute to ensure they fall safely to the ground.
“The regular use of drones between the two hospitals will become an everyday occurrence. Trained hospital staff will be able to load the drone independently with a safety box (in which the lab samples are packaged) and launch the drone with a smartphone application. The drone will then fly autonomously along the predefined route to its destination, where the box will be received by another member of staff.”