A man collecting medicine from the drone's storage compartment, Source: City of Trikala

Trikala tests the use of drones for the delivery of medicine

Trikala tests the use of drones for the delivery of medicine

A drone delivered emergency drugs to a pharmacy in a rural village on 21 September

Last week, the Greek Municipality of Trikala conducted the first pan-European flight for the delivery of medicine using drones. The flight took place on Tuesday 21 September as part of the European Mobility Week. Moreover, it was implemented under the EU’s Harmony programme, which seeks to find sustainable, low-carbon mobility solutions.

Supporting remote rural areas

On Tuesday, the test flight saw the successful delivery of emergency medicine from Trikala to a pharmacy in Leptokarya, a village in the municipality. There, a pharmacist collected the delivered product from the drone’s storage compartment before the device took off once more.

According to a press release by Trikala, the Greek company ATLAS designed the drone specifically for the project. The device can reportedly fly up to 3,000 metres and has a range of about 45 minutes. Furthermore, it is equipped with a temperature and humidity control system.

Making medicine accessible to all

The use of drones for such delivery services will undoubtedly have numerous benefits for multiple groups of people. More specifically, it will facilitate the lives of people with mobility issues, citizens living in isolated areas, and individuals present at sites of emergencies.

The Mayor of Trikala Dimitris Papastergiou commented on this, noting that the test flight was conducted exactly one year after the devastating floods in Karditsa. In a press release, Papastergiou pondered how the use of such a delivery service could have helped citizens at the time.

In addition to this, it is important to highlight that the development of micro-transport is also crucial in the current COVID crisis. Expanding on this, the use of drones for the delivery of medicine would prove particularly useful at a time when people are forced to stay home, isolate themselves, and avoid contact with others.

In the future, the EU will further build upon Trikala’s research and findings to enrich and improve the micro-transport delivery service.

See photographs of the test flight in the gallery above.



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