How do we use drones for the greater good of humanity? Well there are some that can pollinate plants, and flowers while others can deliver medical supplies or save people from drowning.
At the end of a Three year developmental period California autonomous delivery drone startup Matternet will begin delivering medical supplies to “Wakemed” hospital on Wednesday. They’ve tested this delivery system in Switzerland but the Raleigh, North Carolina hospital will mark the companies first American excursion.
Medical arones are being phased in to operation as a part of a program ran by the Department of Transportation and authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration in North Carolina. In order to ensure the programs success Matternet will start with very simple, short range deliveries.
Transporting vials across Sunnybrook rd and two other buildings before docking at the main Wakemed hospital will be just enough to habituate the public to unmanned aerial vehicles while simultaneously ensuring their safety.
“We’re going to crawl, then walk, then run,” Pearce said. “We’re starting off that crawling process this week.” said James Pearce, spokesman for NCDOT’s Division of Aviation
The goal is to gradually expand flights to encompass more supplies and locations
Yet another rescue drone has been used to save people from drowning on the beaches of Valencia Spain after a Group of seven swimmers were swept 230 feet away from the coastline by an enormous undertoe.
Auxdron Lifeguard Drone was at the scene
Using the drone camera feed operator Diego Torres remotely piloted the eight rotor “Auxdron” with help from a local lifeguard on radio.
Before they drowned from exhaustion Diego was able to locate each swimmer and deploy a life-jacket just in the nick of time.
This was not the only time a drone operator rescued people from drowning. 7 months ago another operator saved Australian swimmers in a world first.
Scientists are looking for alternatives to natural pollination because of a widespread decline in the bee population. Over 30% of the food we eat depend on pollination so it is important that we find a way to pollinate plants even if bees cannot recover in full.
Back in March 2017 Japanese scientists successfully pollinated a type of wild lily using a small 100$ commercial drone. In order to replicate the fuzzy torso of a bee they attached horse hair bristles from a paint brush on to the drones undercarriage. Then by glazing the bottom of the drone with a sticky gel, pollen is captured on contact and subsequently transferred to it’s female counterparts.
The best thing about the gel is it doesn’t dry up, otherwise scientists would need to replace it constantly. “Conventional gels are mainly made of water, so they evaporate quickly, which makes them useless for this application. Our sticky gel does not evaporate even if put in a vacuum or a hot oven,” he explained.
The problem is that pollination is a dynamic multifaceted behavior requiring specialized responses.
“Pollinators have evolved specialized behaviors to work with different kinds of flowers. The proposed artificial pollinator does not have any of these specialized behaviors, and thus really can only ‘pollinate’ flowers that are extremely easy to pollinate,” she added.
More recently scientists from Harvard University have developed a smaller autonomous flying microrobot or “RoboBee” that is capable of more detailed, nuanced pollination. The RoboBee also has potential in distributed environmental monitoring, as well as search-and-rescue operations