During the keynote address at the 5th annual Commercial UAV Expo Americas this past October in Las Vegas, we featured a keynote by Bala Ganesh VP of the Advanced Technology Group at UPS. UPS had just made history by becoming the first drone company to obtain a Part 135 standard certificate to operate a drone airline. During his talk, Ganesh highlighted UPS’ plans not only for fully automated drone deliveries, but also their involvement with the FAA’s IPP program. In conjunction with the North Carolina DOT and Matternet, Ganesh reported that UPS was working on medical campuses to deliver blood samples via drone. As a result of this program, they discovered that they were able to cut transportation times down from hours to mere minutes.

“The one or two hours it used to take to deliver blood samples from one building to another on the Wake Med medical campus in North Carolina is now down to 5 minutes!” Ganesh stated. “But after thousands of flights in the state, it’s time to scale because these improvements can have a huge impact on people’s lives. What about anti-venom? Being able to get the right anti-venom to someone who has been bitten by a snake quickly could be lifesaving.”

Less than six months after this keynote was given the world has been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, seemingly overnight, and we are just beginning to understand just how significant this announcement truly was. Drones are demonstrating that they are capable of giving healthcare workers an edge in the battle against COVID-19 without putting them at further risk. Drones are being used across the globe to address the pandemic, from medical supply delivery to outfitting drones for sanitation.

Commercial UAV News has since put out a series of articles highlighting how drones are responding or could respond to this current crisis. This is intended to not only highlight these vital use cases in these unprecedented times, but to also make a case for the continued development of these technologies. Although the use case is novel, the technology has been in development for years and is capable of making significant improvements to the way we work and live well beyond these difficult times.

To learn more about how drones are making a difference check out our latest articles and check out www.CommercialUAVnews.com for up to date coverage: