After this year’s steady rise to notoriety, drones may have a chance of redeeming themselves. Last month, the Germany-based tech company Definetz announced a working prototype of Defikopter – a 10-pound emergency drone engineered to deliver critical care to heart attack victims. Contrary to its military cousin, the innovation will focus exclusively on saving lives.
According to its developers, the Defikopter is intended to supplement emergency paramedical care in areas with limited ambulance access. By airdropping first aid utilities like defibrillators, the drone will able to keep victims alive until help arrives. In remote areas of the world, the technology stands to revolutionize emergency care.
"Defikopter is one small supporting step towards an optimized responder structure," said developer Friedrich Nölle, speaking to Fast Company. "It's for sports areas like golf clubs, difficult terrain such as coasts or mountains, and rural areas with weak infrastructure."
The drone is able to travel at a top speed of 43 miles per hour within a six-mile radius of its launch site. The technology is accompanied by an app that allows emergency victims and bystanders to submit their coordinates. Ideally, anyone with a smart phone will be able to summon the drone.
But in order to become a viable responder solution, the current prototype is in need of further development. Its limited range, for example, may require several units to be installed strategically across a region. With a current price tag of $26,000, this may be unfeasible in impoverished areas.
Expensive gimmick or potential lifesaver? Check out the video below and decide for yourself.