AI and Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK), a not-for-profit organization supported by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has launched two air mobility initiatives that have the potential to change healthcare significantly.
One is constructing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for human organ transportation, and the other is the ambitious ‘Aero108’ air ambulance that can carry one patient, one operator, one paramedic (humanoid), and patient life support systems. The vehicle can also transport up to 350 kilograms of essential goods.
For the transportation of organs
An ARTPARK team first focuses on constructing a UAV capable of rapid human organ transport. “When we have to transport human organs, there is a time limit within which they can be transplanted. There are hospitals for organ collection and hospitals for organ transplantation. “We’re going to connect them via an aerial vehicle network,” stated Ansar H. Lone, technical lead-Aircraft Systems Engineering at ARTPARK.
He said that after the organs are collected, they can be brought to a location where they will be transplanted into a patient.
“Aside from saving time, we will be able to travel over 200 km in a single sortie at a speed of 100 km/h by deploying these UAVs.” This project is currently in the works. We want to start manufacturing the prototype by the end of this year and begin testing by the middle of 2023,” he said.
The second project aims to create an autonomous air ambulance called Aero108, which can transport two people: the patient and a humanoid who will act as a paramedic.
According to ARTPARK, Aero 108 will be fitted with cutting-edge instruments. It will be capable of performing autonomous procedures and having interactive technology that will connect patients and medical professionals even when huge distances separate them.
It further stated that control centre hubs would supervise the Aero108s throughout the country. These stations will direct the nearest Aero108 to the emergency site.
“The Air Ambulance will transport one patient, one operator, one paramedic, and the patient’s life support systems.” The flying ambulances will either be stationed at hospitals or a centre. “They’ll take off from there, fly to the spot where there’s an emergency, pick up the patient, and land at the hospital,” Mr Lone explained.
42,000 preventable deaths
According to Umakant Soni, co-founder and CEO of ARTPARK, around 42,000 people are dying in India daily because they cannot access emergency services. “Forget the villages; even in Bengaluru, people are unable to reach good hospitals in times of emergency because ambulances are delayed in traffic,” Mr Soni added.
Mr Soni went on to say that this is a highly sophisticated and challenging project. “This is a ten-year moonshot.” This technology will be developed by 2030. This is an adamant project because it is challenging to execute due to all of these complex technologies, and all of them must mature. Even developing the basic airframe is complex, and then you need the hybrid propulsion system, which will first be powered by gasoline and eventually be powered by hydrogen,” Mr Soni continued.