Near-Silent Drone Delivers Life-Saving Equipment To Remote Hospitals

The world is rapidly changing as technology evolves, some changes are troubling while others are innovative and life-saving.

Former NASA engineer Mark Rober regularly talks about people and companies that are using engineering to “change the world for the better” on his popular YouTube channel, and he recently introduced his audience to the Zipline drone.

Photo: YouTube/Mark Rober

In the video, he explained that the autonomous drone was unique thanks to its speed and sound.

If you’ve spent much time around drones, you might recognize how loud they can be. Zipline’s drone, however, is nearly silent!

Rober starts the video by showcasing the “nearly silent drone system that can deliver a package from the sky right to my backyard in as little as two minutes with dinner plate accuracy.”

Photo: YouTube/Mark Rober

According to the company’s website, Zipline uses its silent, speedy drones to deliver medications and blood products to remote hospitals in Rwanda and other countries, lowering mortality rates by 88% in some instances. That’s a pretty impressive and impactful feat!

To learn more about the drone, Rober actually traveled to Rwanda to learn more. In his video, he said: “The whole thing …works in pretty much any weather and because there’s no human steering it. It has no issues flying at night so they run the operation 24 hours a day, which is how in six years they’ve managed to make those half a million often life-saving deliveries.”

Photo: YouTube/Mark Rober

Of course, Rober wanted to know how they got the drone to be so quiet. If you’ve been around drones before, you know they can be quite loud and noise pollution is a real issue. Apparently, the engineers of the Zipline drone studied hummingbirds to base their design on. They explained, “We studied the hummingbird a lot. …They’re tiny and they’re really quiet they just they just like hover there you barely hear it.”

As of early 2023, Zipline works with Walmart, Pfizer, Toyota Tsusho, Sweetgreen, NGOs, large health systems, large national governments around the world, and more. They plan to continue expansion, and it’ll be interesting to see how far their technology goes.

You can learn more about Zipline and its innovative, life-saving drone in the video below, thanks to Mark Rober:

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