Eos C VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) conveyed coronavirus samples from Estonia’s second-largest island, Hiiumaa, for testing in Tallinn. The initiative was a joint operation organized by the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) and Threod Systems.
Drone took off from Heltermaa harbor at 2 p.m. and landed 27 minutes later at Rohuküla on the mainland. A ferry journey between the same two points would have taken over an hour to cover the 12 nautical miles.
The undertaking was primarily a test of a new and innovative concept. The success allows us to move forward with the development and further cooperation.
While a range of seven kilometers is considered a challenge for the commercial drones. Threod offers VTOL UAVs with a flight range over 100 km that is reached by advanced communication solutions. In crisis situations like the current coronavirus pandemic, it is essential to attract more sophisticated technologies and we were more than happy to provide our aircraft.
Eos C is a lightweight vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV, with in-flight transition from VTOL to fixed-wing flight. The payload capacity is over 2 kg, 1 kg for an in-house designed gyro-stabilized Shark gimbal and a bay for up to 1 kg parcel delivery. The UAV performed 4 flights from the mainland and back.
“It was an amazing initiative proposed by PERH, that we instantly agreed on and performed the flights. We proved that using UAVs in fighting COVID-19 can be a great advantage and we were pleased at the opportunity to help and support during this difficult time. For us it is notable that more and more organizations understand the vast possibilities of using drones in different crisis situations. Last year we performed flights in search and rescue operation organized by Estonian police, border guard and rescue service,” said Martin Jõesaar, COO of Threod Systems.
The sample was tested at the PERH laboratory on the same day. Meelis Roosimägi, head of the PERH hospital network, said that since time is of the essence, work is continuously ongoing at PERH, to develop new solutions to enable help to reach patients, and latter to reach a doctor, as quickly as possible.
“In the current, and future, sudden epidemics, the conduct of fast clinical surveys is essential, to be able to direct assistance to where it is needed most,” Roosimägi said.
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“Our healthcare infrastructure is very good already; samples from different corners of the mainland reach labs with better capabilities in one-and-a-half hours. There are problems, however, when it comes to the various islands off the coast of Estonia. The sea makes all journeys long, and often makes deliveries dependent on ferry schedules. This is not just with the big islands, but also the small islands, where there are no local medical services,” he went on. For this reason, PERH decided to test fly drone samples for the first time in Estonia, in the three-way cooperation between Hiiumaa Hospital, PERH and Threod Systems.