Defense Department testing drones for medical supply delivery

Drone company Zipline, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, is testing drones to deliver critical medical supplies to the military, according to CNBC.

Zipline's drones could provide the military an effective way to deliver critical supplies, including blood, in mass-casualty situations.

Between July 30 and Sept. 5, Zipline conducted four exercises to test the drones in Australia making more than 400 deliveries, including supplying mock blood to shock trauma platoons. In the tests, the drones were required to simultaneously respond to emergency delivery requests from three different locations and deliver 150 pounds of cargo in under three hours, according to CNBC. They were also tested in extreme conditions, such as 30 mph winds, darkness and artillery fire.

A primary concern of using the drones to deliver medical supplies in military situations is the possibility of the drones being hacked, Brent Thomas, PhD, a senior operations researcher, told CNBC.

Zipline is planning to do five times as many drone flights with the Defense Department's innovation hub next year. Long-range blood deliveries are expected to be routine by 2025, a Zipline spokesperson told CNBC.

Read the full article here.

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