3D Robotics

3689544287?profile=originalFrom The Verge (with suitable skepticism)

German non-profit group Definetz wants to make defibrillators readily available across its country so that any time someone has a heart attack, the life saving devices are within arms reach. And it's looking to drones to help it bring its vision to fruition. On Friday, the group announced the Defikopter, a concept device it designed with drone-maker Height Tech to fly defibrillators to emergency responders or the public by way of a GPS-enabled smartphone app.

Definetz says the Defikopter, which was developed over the last three months, can travel within a radius of 10 kilometers (about six miles), and fly at a speed of 70 kilometers per hour (about 43 miles per hour). While Definetz and Height Tech have announced their collaborative design, neither organization said if or when the Defikopter would be made available for sale, or when and if the corresponding smartphone app would be released to the public.

There are, of course, a few drawbacks to the drone concept. If built, the drone hardware would sell for about $26,000, according to the Mittelbayerische news site. Additionally, if the Defikopter and its app are made available, the Defikopter can only be hailed by someone who is with a heart attack victim and already has the app downloaded downloaded on their phone. The drone also can't run without supervision — the Die Glocke newspaper reports that German law requires that unmanned flying vehicles can only be flown if monitored by a human being. These limitations and restrictions could mean the Defikopter concept never makes it off the ground.

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  • Agreed the technology is a few steps behind still, but I am taking nothing away from the guys that do the developing and implementation. I still think that the good old human touch needs to be there still and the basic know how to at least start something whilst the tech arrives.

  • So they want to help people, but charge $26k which is magnitudes of order greater than a 3DR copter. 

  • I am with R_Lefebvre technology in stroke and heart attack research has come a long way recently and has started getting much cheaper. The ability to drop one of these devices near a first responder can mean the difference of life and death. Also, this out of box thinking of drones for good should be commended even if not economically sound today. If anything it shows the potential use for drones to be used to deliver medical needs. Perhaps instead of an AED it is a shot of insulin or epinephrine, or even an easy to administer tPA. 

    While in a city this makes little sense the ability to provide quick aid in a rural environment will mean the difference between life and death and as R_Lefebvre stated, at that time you do not care what strings may be attached.

    I see a day where you have a mobile medical cabinet that can be quickly dispatched to aid the phone operator.

  • As a son who's father has had a heart attack, I will take any chance the systems can present. The system isn't perfect but its better than nothing.

    It's naive to think that medical aid will never be delivered by UAV. Its just a matter of when not if.

  • Moderator

    Sorry to hear that Shaun.  Given the number of members here it shouldn't surprising that a few of us have been touched by a death on the golf course - however, my comment was more in relation to the previous comments re clear sky, open area, no many people around etc, that saw there would be a need for an AED to be deployed via drone.

    Interesting concept, but yes, agree that more people should be doing advanced first aid courses - which would also include how to use an AED when they're available.

  • I agree with Crashpilot, rather do basic CPR courses, my brother and sister in law are paramedics and the number of times they arrive on scene with the bystanders doing exactly that - standing by and every one on their phones trying to phone for an ambulance. My wife has had to do CPR on 3 people who have had an MI (short for heart attack) in a shopping mall where a "drone" would be useless.

    Good concept - not entirely practical as to operate an AED still needs basic training....

  • "How many people are having heart attacks whilst golfing?!?"

    My brother in law's uncle died of a heart attack on the golf course...

  • Moderator

    Apparently playing golf in Germany will kill you.  o.O 

    How many people are having heart attacks whilst golfing?!?

  • OOO my good .... another joke !

  • Automated external defibrillator, in case AED was an unknown acronym to some.
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