Singapore may use drones to deliver medicine, for security

July 24, 2018
Tiny Singapore, with a population of 5.6 million, is ultra-modern, well-ordered and tightly regulated—factors seen to improve the drone scheme's chance of working

Drones could be used across hi-tech Singapore to deliver life-saving medical supplies to a patient during an emergency or to respond to a security breach under a new system in development, a private consortium said Tuesday.

Future Flight Consortium, a 13-member group, said it had been chosen by the country's civil aviation authority and transport ministry to develop the drone programme.

Its uses could include transporting , delivering emergency medical supplies and responding to security incidents across the city-state, it said in a statement.

Tiny Singapore, with a population of 5.6 million, is ultra-modern, well-ordered and tightly regulated—factors seen to improve the scheme's chance of working.

The would be operated remotely by pilots at an operations centre and be able to travel relatively long distances across the city-state.

This is in contrast to their recreational counterparts—whose use is permitted in Singapore—which can travel only short distances and are at all times visible to their operators.

The consortium said it will generate flight paths for the drones, and will develop a private communications network as well as take-off and landing sites.

"Our goal is to make it possible for any enterprise who needs to fly drones (beyond the visual sight of the pilots) in Singapore to easily do so in a safe and effective manner," said Future Flight project director Ong Jiin Joo.

The consortium gave a two-year timeline for the development of the system and pledged to conduct rigorous safety tests.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force—which manages the city-state's emergency services—and fellow consortium member Garuda Robotics said they were in talks to use drones in the force's operations, in particular to deliver "critical life-saving supplies".

A hospital operator in the consortium said it plans to use drones to transport blood samples and specimens between its hospitals and central laboratory, while a security firm said it will use the devices to respond to incidents and fire alarms.

Explore further: European flight safety agency issues drone guidelines

Related Stories

European flight safety agency issues drone guidelines

February 22, 2018

Europe's flight safety authority has published its first proposal on the safe operation of small drones, to serve as a guideline for the European Commission to adopt concrete regulations later this year.

Recommended for you

A decade on, smartphone-like software finally heads to space

March 20, 2019

Once a traditional satellite is launched into space, its physical hardware and computer software stay mostly immutable for the rest of its existence as it orbits the Earth, even as the technology it serves on the ground continues ...

Tiny 'water bears' can teach us about survival

March 20, 2019

Earth's ultimate survivors can weather extreme heat, cold, radiation and even the vacuum of space. Now the U.S. military hopes these tiny critters called tardigrades can teach us about true toughness.

Researchers find hidden proteins in bacteria

March 20, 2019

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a way to identify the beginning of every gene—known as a translation start site or a start codon—in bacterial cell DNA with a single experiment and, through ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.