A vertical takeoff drone for life saving missions

An open-source stack is helping create practical drones for life-saving missions.
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer

Deliveries of medicine and health equipment to remote areas or even from one urban hospital to another can save lives. The problem is, helicopters and private transport planes are expensive and pilots are in short supply.

Drones have long been touted as a promising answer, and a new winged drone from Avy, which makes unmanned aviation technologies with a focus on life-saving missions and applications, is among the best examples yet of the future of medical deliveries.

The Avy drone, called the Aera, comes out of a collaboration with Auterion, an open-source based operating system for enterprise drones. The concept is unique, a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drone that has fixed wings for long distance, high-speed flying. With a modular payload capacity, it's designed explicitly for medical deliveries, public safety, sustainable logistics, and wildlife conservation operations.

"The Avy Aera gives emergency services, mapping companies, and medical delivery enterprises a new tool to cover large areas in a short time. The integration around open standards makes it easy for operators to integrate the Avy Aera drones within their existing services," said Kevin Sartori, Auterion co-founder. 

The drone is designed to comply with EU regulations. Current FAA regulations in the U.S. don't permit beyond line of sight flying in most general use cases, although the agency is beginning to embrace progress with a patchwork of exemptions. Drone software must account for rapidly-changing compliance and safety standards wherever the hardware is deployed. The Avy Aera drone will leverage the complete Auterion software platform, including the operating system, Auterion Enterprise PX4, the Auterion Ground Station software for flight planning, and Auterion Insights for flight, safety, and compliance management. 

"By taking our technological performance one step further and focusing on operations, we've developed an aircraft that is ready for the strict aviation regulations and to operate over densely populated areas. The Avy Aera is quick, sleek, reliable, and equipped to disrupt the aviation ecosystem," said Patrique Zaman, CEO of Avy. 

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