Emergency situations like fatal accidents, drowning or heart attacks claim the lives of several thousand people every year. More than the cause, lives of people in such scenarios depends on the timely help given to them. Victims of such situations have a very critical margin of survival of about 5 minutes from the occurred incident. In the European Union, around 800,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest every year and only 8% survive. People in such a condition have about 5-6 minutes before brain death is established and emergency services typically take 10 minutes to provide aid. Thus it proves fatal in most cases.

The Ambulance Drone in action.

Ambulances and emergency aid can be delayed due to external factors but not UAVs. Drones have always proved to be one of the fastest flying aerial vehicles. They can also carry very heavy payloads for long durations. Alec Momont, a graduate student of Delft University of Technology also known as TU Delft, located in Delft, Netherlands, has developed the Ambulance Drone. He combined emergency aid with the compactness and efficiency of UAVs. The first prototype focuses on the delivery of an Automated Defibrillator (AED). The Ambulance Drone can increase the survival rates dramatically. It hosts a two-way, video supported, communication channel with 112 operators online for assistance.

Alec Momont with his creation.

Currently, AED is successfully used by just 20% of the total affected people but with the use of the Ambulance Drone that figure can boost up to 90%. Basically, the Ambulance Drone extends the existing medical infrastructure with a network of fast and compact UAVs capable of bringing emergency supplies and establishing communication, anywhere.

Momont developed this project in collaboration with Living Tomorrow, the Belgian innovation platform, which helped to fund the project. The drone would locate the patient via a caller’s mobile phone signal and use GPS to arrive at the location. The drone would fly at around 100 km/h, it weighs 4kg and can carry an additional 4kg.

Watch the Ambulance Drone reach a patient just in time: