Zipline provides a remote medical supply delivery service utilizing fixed wing drones.
Zipline is a delivery drone manufacturer that specializes in medical supplies delivery in remote locations in all weather conditions. Their drones or “Zips” as they call them are fixed wing delivery drones are currently serving 21 hospitals in Rwanda. They have a partnership with the Rwandan government to integrate their delivery system into the healthcare system and deliver life saving medical products to remote hospitals in under 30 minutes. The Zip does not require a landing site at the delivery locations as the medical product is dropped by parachute into a designated landing zone, a target area of five meters in diameter, and then it returns back to the distribution depot.
Zipline, GAVI, UPS, and the Rwandan Ministry of Health
“Service model on a per flight basis with a minimum number of flights agreed upon. Drones are not for sale.”1
Governments, NGOs, and Health care providers supporting remote communities
The drones are designed and assembled at Zipline’s headquarters in Half Moon Bay, California.
Zipline works with governments, NGOs or regional authorities to serve the medical community a country level. Interested partners can contact Zipline on their information page.
Zipline is currently operating in Rwanda, serving 21 hospitals with over 800 deliveries. The system is currently averaging 17 deliveries a day, but it can scale to hundreds of deliveries per day.
A list of known products/services the device can deliver
Maximum distance the transport device can travel from its origin
Zipline’s “Zip” is a fixed wind drone. It is a proprietary design with all software and hardware designed in house. It has a range of 100-150 KM round trip, with 1.5 kg of cargo, depending on wind conditions. It is designed with redundancy in mind as it features two motors with independent batteries with redundant flight hardware both internal to the drone as well as on the ground based flight control servers. In the event of a catastrophic failure it has an emergency parachute and kevlar fuselage.
– Zipline uses pneumatic launch ramps to fire the drones aloft.
– Drone power supply: 2 interchangeable batteries
– Drone weight: ~10 kg
– Products are discharged with a parachute into a designated landing zone
Provided by Zipline as a part of the service
Provided by Zipline as a part of the service
Since this is a service provided by Zipline for a per flight cost, there are not any ongoing life cycle costs.
– To be the last mile solution for critical medical supply deliveries in remote areas regardless of terrain or infrastructure.
– A drone can deliver a product in about 15 minutes, can complete 150 blood deliveries per day, and is capable of flying up to 75 mph with a range of about 93 miles. Each drone can support a payload of up to 3½ pounds.
Since launch, Zipline has over 5000 deliveries including over 10,000 units of blood. Most deliveries are in under 30 minutes. Interview with representative
Gavi, Zipline, UPS, and the Rwandan Ministry of Health are leading the prototype testing of the delivery service in Rwanda.
All flights are coordinated with The Rwandan Civil Aviation Authority.All of the flight systems and hardware have built in redundancies as well as an emergency parachute landing system in the case of catastrophic failure.
Drone guidance system which logs the GPS coordinates for a received request and prints a delivery box label with a scannable code that programs the drone’s flight plan. Zipline is designing a custom guidance system.. Thermally insulated packaging for the medicines and blood.
(2016) The Roundup. Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology: May/June 2016, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 148-151.
Haidari, L.A., et. al., The economic and operational value of using drones to transport vaccines
Padua, D., From Caravaggio to Braque: Digital Technology and the Illusion of Augmented Responsibility. Communication Technology. 2016 Aug 25;474:241-256.
Scott JE, Scott CH. Drone Delivery Models for Healthcare. Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences2017. 2017 Jan 4.
WÜRBEL HEIKE. Framework for the evaluation of cost-effectiveness of drone use for the last-mile delivery of vaccines. University of Barcelona, ISGlobal 2016-2017. 2017 Jun 13.
Zipline works closely with the Rwandan Civil Aviation Authority and is in compliance with all applicable UAV regulations
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