Dronamics said it has signed on with The Care and Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland (CAELUS) consortium, which has secured nearly $14 million in funding to mount the country’s drone delivery network of medical supplies. Backed by the UK Research and Innovation’s Future (UKRI) Flight Challenge program, the nation-spanning CAELUS aerial grid will use Dronamics’ Black Swan automated UAVs to transport essential medicines, blood products, and critical supplies between hospitals, laboratories, distribution centers, and even individual medical offices across Scotland.
Participants in CAELUS include UK air traffic control service provider NATS and Scotland’s National Health System (NHS), which are working under the aegis of program coordinator and operator of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Southampton airports, AGS. They are currently preparing infrastructure requirements in urban centers.
They’re also planning for the operation of delivery drones hauling medical supplies across longer distances to remote and underserved communities in Scotland – a task Dronamics should make a great deal easier.
In contrast to most UAV transport companies operating short routes, Dronamics has based its business model on the conviction there are major markets to be created by flying goods over much longer distances, and speeding orders to consumers who currently must wait days for ground transportation to arrive. Dromamics has developed its Black Swan delivery drone to do just that, carrying 350 kg maximum payloads over distances of up to 2,500 km – beyond the range Scotland’s medical supply network will require.
CAELUS has said it plans on initiating beyond visual line of sight trials in 2023, an over-the-horizon mode inherent to the longer hauls craft will need to make. Dronamics expects to complete its initial series of test flights of Scotland’s drone medical supply delivery network in 2024.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us to kick-off operations in the UK by leveraging our authorization experience in the EU with EASA,” said Dronamics CEO Svilen Rangelov. “The flight trials for NHS Scotland would also validate our ongoing product development towards delivering medical goods. We have seen that our solution could be vital for remote communities in Scotland, drastically decreasing the transit time for medical supplies.”