Drone company WeRobotics has announced it has been selected to work with Pfizer to develop a new drone to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. The pharmaceutical company has chosen to develop the cargo drone from DJI’s new Matrice 300 drone platform.
The new partnership will see WeRobotics and its subsidiary Flying Labs produce a cargo add-on for the DJI Matrice 300 drone for future deliveries.
The M300 has been chosen for the job as it should allow for deliveries of 1.5 kg (3.3 lb.) up to 25 km (15.5 miles) away compared to the 10 km (6 miles) range of the currently used M600. The M600 will still be used for the closer drone deliveries to get as many vaccines sent out to those in need in a short amount of time.
The DJI Matrice 300 has been chosen also for its impressive weather resistance. The drone is equipped with two self-heating batteries that automatically activate, allowing flights down to -20°C (-4°F). It can also fly in temperatures of up to 50°C ( 122°F), making it the perfect drone for most of the world.
The drone can also fly in winds of up to 33.5 mph and ascend at speeds of 6 m/s to ensure speedy deliveries. The M300 was also put to the test in salt and steam chambers to ensure it can still fly with salt buildup and resist corrosion.
While commercial drones can often deal with rain, the Matrice 300 has an IP45 rating, which means it can withstand water projected at it by a 6.3 mm (0.24 in.) nozzle from any direction and withstand ingress of solid objects greater than 1.0 mm (0.039 in.) in diameter.
Another reason for choosing the Matrice 300 is that it is produced by DJI, a massive company that is expected to be around long after its current drones’ life span. This means the drones can be purchased and used with the confidence to assume that they will continue to receive support and updates for many years to come.
The video below is of the last time the two companies worked together, with DJI as well. During this partnership, DJI’s Matrice 600 was used with a custom delivery system to deliver essential medicines to remote health facilities in the Dominican Republic. WeRobotics’ subsidiary Flying Labs produced the customized drone to be used in the deliveries to make it happen.