Getting needed supplies to remote villages in Peru is no easy task.
“There are communities that are very far from the cities,” Jaime Vera, Marketing Specialist for UAV LATAM/UAV Peru, explained to Commercial UAV News. “To reach them, you need to walk or go by mule for several days.” Traveling through steep and rugged mountain ranges on rough and narrow roads slows the movement of medical supplies and other necessities—and puts delivery personnel and medical staff at risk
To solve this problem, UAV LATAM has joined with the German drone delivery firm Wingcopter GmbH on an ambitious project to use cargo drones to transport essential resources more quickly and with less impact on the environment.
“UAV LATAM and Wingcopter aim to improve the distribution and instant delivery of medical supplies such as medicines, vaccines, laboratory samples, blood, and specific treatments for patients,” Vera said. “Also, thanks to this alliance, technology will be used that reduces the carbon footprint, contributing to making the supply chain greener and more sustainable, as well as faster and more efficient delivery times.”
For the project, Wingcopter and UAV del Peru (a subsidiary of UAV LATAM) will deploy cargo drones to bring medical products to communities in the Peruvian Andes. In time, the partners plan to bring this service to other countries in the region. Because UAV LATAM’s pilots have already received training from Wingcopter, the company will be one of the first in Latin America to utilize delivery drone technology for commercial and humanitarian applications.
Central to the effort is the use of Wingcopter’s flagship UAS, the Wingcopter 198.
“The Wingcopter 198 is ideally suited for any tasks that involve the instant and on-demand delivery of urgently needed supplies such as emergency medicines to hard-to-reach places,” explained Wingcopter spokesperson Thomas Dreiling. The Wingcopter 198 “can basically take-off and land anywhere without the need for major additional infrastructure. Plus, it can transport up to 5 kg (11 lbs) of payload over a range of 75 kilometers (46 miles),” Dreiling said. “This is currently the best payload-to-range ratio on the market.”
According to Vera, the UAV LATAM and Wingcopter alliance will “show the benefits of this technology and, also, the importance of the alliance of UAV LATAM and Wingcopter for both Peru and Latin America.”
Vera also believes that the partnership will help push forward rules and standards regarding UAVs in this part of the world. “Latin America is just beginning to see drones as a work ally and, because of that, beginning to create regulations, laws, and regulatory frameworks for the correct operation and displacement of drones,” he stated.