American company Matternet presented a small terminal for the safe operation of the service delivery of biomaterials between medical institutions. It is a three-meter tower with an open dome which can take a cargo drone and leave or pick up a container and get a new battery, reported in a press release.
Matternet is already a few years experience service fast shipping laboratory tests using Autonomous quadcopters. In 2017 she together with Swiss Post launched this service in Switzerland, and in 2019 opened a line of U.S. shipping with UPS. For this purpose, quadcopter M2 of its own design, capable of carrying a container of cargo weighing up to 2 kgs to a distance of 20 kilometers.
Technically, the drone can transport any suitable cargo, such as food, as a Wing, but Matternet has decided to focus on shipping of samples for laboratory analyses. The service medical delivery launched by the company, operates as follows. For delivery of samples for analysis the doctor must be presented to the terminal at the hospital QR codes on your card and the container, and then specify the parameters of the cargo and other medical institutions, and then to load the container to the drone. The drone is flying autonomously, but it remotely monitors the Manager of Matternet.
This scheme allows the delivery of biological samples much faster than the courier, moving on earth, but is a potential hazard. In case of failure of engines or other components from the drone is an Autonomous parachute. However, recently in the fall of Matternet drone in Switzerland, the rope of the parachute broke and the company had to stop flying for six months and to resume them in January. However, even if the flight itself was without incident, at a low altitude drone blades can injure people nearby.
To prevent such situations Matternet in 2017 introduced runway, the terminal, and now showed it significantly changed and improved second version. It is a tower, extending up. The tower is three meters, so the drone is always above the level of the heads of the people.
The dome of the tower consists of four sections, self-closing and drop-down if necessary. After landing, the terminal blocks a drone takes away the cargo container and the battery, and then puts in their place new ones. The health worker can pick up or place the containers out of the tower only pass if you have permission to do this in the terminal provided for the descending door. In order for the samples of biological material has maintained its properties, the tower supports the corresponding temperature.
Earlier variations of their “nests” for drones represented developers from other companies and countries, including Singapore, Israel and the Netherlands. However, they had a much smaller size and lower height design.
At Matternet, there are other unusual developments in the field of delivery drones. For example, together with Mercedes-Benz, it introduced a hybrid project delivery system consisting of a van and a drone. Large and heavy loads in the van to deliver employees and to deliver light from the van can fly the drone Matternet.