Dubai Ambulance considering new cargo drone that can reach ‘large area events’ within minutes
Dubai: Say hello to the world’s reportedly fastest aerial cargo drone which can deliver at 155km/h an automated heart defibrillator to a heart-attack victim in Dubai parks, beaches or public areas in only a few minutes.
Now under trial by Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services as a first responder technology for cardiac arrest victims, the cargo drone was put through its paces on Tuesday as it whirred and streaked its way across Skydive Dubai’s remote airspace and along the sandy barrens of the dunes on the southern outskirts of the city.
Top officials from Dubai Ambulance as well as Dubai Police Search and Rescue were on hand to witness the first trial as operators zipped the drone in circles and quick take-offs to demonstrate the remote flyer’s versatility.
Officials were impressed with the whirring electronic bird’s speed as it blew past a second-storey observation deck opened for the demonstration.
Mesha’al Abdul Karim Julfar, head of the Dispatch Section at Dubai Ambulance, said he was impressed with the speed and agility of the device and is convinced the technology can help bring medical services quicker, but said the drone must undergo many more tests.
In a first phase of implementation, the drones would carry defibrillators and in a second stage, the drones could carry other medical equipment to sites of road accidents and multiple injury events, he said.
Every minute that passes means a 10 per cent less survival rate. These drones could arrive minutes prior to the excellent ambulances and services we already have.”
– Mesha’al Abdul Karim Julfar, head of the Dispatch Section at Dubai Ambulance
“In life-threatening events, every minute counts,” Julfar told Gulf News at the test event. “Every minute that passes means a 10 per cent less survival rate. These drones could arrive minutes prior to the excellent ambulances and services we already have.”
Julfar said the current response rate by Dubai paramedics is eight minutes but he hopes to halve that to four minutes to meet national calls for better response times by 2021.
He said the drones would be a great asset “at large area events in Dubai such as New Year’s Eve or Dubai World Cup”.
Taimur Mohammad, managing director of Desert Falcon Technologies, is spearheading the testing of its prize prototype drone that it hopes to be in full production in the UAE in one year.
Costing anywhere from €20,000-€60,000 apiece depending on features, the Desert Falcon Cargo Drone packs a lot of punch for its size, thanks to a lithium battery pack, a powerful motor that powers four propellers and a payload of up to five kilograms.
On a single charge, the cargo drone has a capacity of 40 minutes flying time.
“We think this will be the fastest way to save lives in the region,” Mohammad said on the sidelines of the demonstration.
Up to €60,000 pricetag
155km/h top speed
40 minutes flying time