Airbus and International SOS collaborate on drone cargo medical delivery systems
It has recently been announced that European company Airbus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with International SOS to drive the development and subsequent study of harnessing aircraft or unmanned systems, such as drones, to deliver medical cargo and supplies.
Under the agreement, Airbus will work to define and install such reliable aircraft or unmanned aerial medical cargo deliveries as part of its International SOS MedSupply services.
MedSupply deploys medical supplies, specialist medical care and equipment to meet the requirements of preventive health programme or in support of a medical emergency in urban and remote locations. The studies will therefore look into both urban to rural and ship to shore deliveries.
The MOU will also encompass the safe, secure and enterprise drone delivery for hub to hub distribution of medical cargo, which will be developed in accordance with local regulatory bodies.
“We hope to develop a viable business partnership where we can assist International SOS with unmanned medical cargo delivery. This means using our cutting-edge technology to potentially save lives, and transform the medical and travel security industry,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus Defence and Space.
Arnaud Vaissié, CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder of International SOS, added: “Bringing together the Airbus expertise in securing aerial deliveries, and our global infrastructure assisting clients worldwide, is a clear move towards a greater efficiency.
“We are always striving to provide our clients with excellent customer service and this innovative venture will enable us to look into furthering our capabilities and enhancing our service.”
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Potential medical cargo delivery pilot cases are being explored in Singapore and Indonesia, and Airbus and International SOS will work with the local civil aviation and maritime authorities in both countries to develop these capabilities. If successful, this could be extended to International SOS operations globally.
Other potential areas of cooperation under the MOU include support for mobile hospitals, space and satellite services.
The news follows on from the launch of Zipline in 2016, where the company partnered with the Rwandan Ministry of Health to launch the world’s first drone delivery system to deliver urgent blood supplies to transfusion clinics across the country, saving thousands of lives in remote areas.
This year, the company is now building on its success by expanding into Tanzania, where it has sought to collaborate with Michigan based supply chain specialists LLamasoft to deliver 2,000 deliveries each day, carrying life-saving blood supplies, vaccines, alongside HIV medication and blood-testing kits across the country.
“Zipline works with the aviation authorities in each country so that we can adhere to no-fly zones,” explains Sid Rupani, LLamasoft’s Regional Director:
“If a large batch of valuable vaccines is held at the health facility and there’s a power outage, then there’s a high risk of spoilage for those vaccines. Introducing smaller, more frequent deliveries, the amount of vaccine being held at the health facility is small. It’s actually possible that you can get better performance for no additional cost.”
Retailers such as Walmart and tech giants Amazon and Google are also exploring the use of drone delivery across a number of industries to cater to ongoing consumer demands, fully bolstering not only manufacturing, but the transport and logistics industry.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.