Chinese technology company EHang Holdings Limited has announced a collaboration with U.S. company Lung Biotechnology to develop and purchase 1,000 drones to automate organ transplant delivery, news agency Xinhua reported. Lung Biotechnology specializes in producing artificial lungs and other organs for transplants.
The new partners will develop a modified version of EHang's 184, the world's first autonomous drone capable of carrying humans, to optimize it for organ delivery. The companies have agreed to
work together over the next 15 years under a program called Manufactured Organ Transport Helicopter (MOTH) system.
Still a long way to go
The collaboration could revolutionize the way organs are transported in the U.S., with the potential to save tens of thousands of lives, according to EHang.
Lung Biotechnology, a subsidiary of multi-billion dollar firm United Therapeutics, based in Silver Spring, Maryland plans to station MOTH rotorcraft outside its organ production facilities and use preprogrammed flight plans to hospitals and re-charging pads within the MOTH radius, allowing organs to be delivered within their viability windows. According to the producer, the drone can carry a human patient autonomously for up to 16 kilometers. However, while presenting their plans the drone provider showed only a model version of its 184 but missed presenting an unmanned aerial vehicle in flight.
Nol van Fenema