The drone am­bu­lance can ‘land on a dime, any­where’

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

AN IS­RAELI tech­nol­ogy com­pany in­clud­ing two for­mer air force com­man­ders and an ex-fighter pi­lot has cre­ated a re­motely con­trolled drone am­bu­lance that can trans­port two wounded sol­diers.

The AirMule, which is able to carry 450kg up to 31 miles with­out a pi­lot, made its first au­ton­o­mous flight ear­lier this month, and has been the sub­ject of en­quiries from the Is­raeli and US gov­ern­ments, as well as Nato.

Dr Rafi Yoeli, d i r e c t o r a n d founder of the drone’s cre­ators, Ur­ban Aero­nau­tics, said the 10 year-long pro­ject — started af­ter the Se­cond Le­banon War — “could save lives”.

He ex­plained that “af­ter Le­banon and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was ev­i­dent that he­li­copters can­not al­ways land close enough to where an ex­trac­tion of wounded sol­diers is needed.

“Be­cause they’re manned, and be­cause it’s dan­ger­ous for the crews on board as they can be un­der fire or un­able to ne­go­ti­ate the ob­struc­tive ter­rain, we cre­ated a drone the size of a truck that can land on a dime any­where to bring sup­plies and res­cue ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

He com­pared AirMule, which should be ready by the end of the decade, to Is­rael’sIronDome mis­sile-de­fence sys­tem in terms of putting a fan­tas­ti­cal idea into prac­tice, but said that the in­ven­tion ad­dressed a “uni­ver­sal prob­lem.

“It’s not just Is­rael or the IDF; the whole world needs this ca­pa­bil­ity, as ev­ery­one has the same prob­lem of he­li­copters not be­ing able to land in the bat­tle­field or get close enough to where they are needed to de­liver sup­plies and take the wounded.”

And al­though he said he and his col­leagues were “of course, pleased” with their work so far, he em­pha­sised that there was still “a long road ahead — and we’re not sit­ting still”. “Don’t worry, we just have to tweak a cou­ple of lines of code”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.