Chinese firm plans to use drones to deliver artificial organs

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 5, 2016
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Chinese aerial technology firm EHang Holdings Limited Wednesday announced its upcoming collaboration with an American firm to optimize a drone to automate the delivery of organs for transplant operations.

EHang said it has agreed with Lung Biotechnology PBC to develop and purchase up to 1,000 units of an evolved version of the company's EHang 184, the world's first autonomous drone for humans.

"This is only the beginning of how EHang 184 will help to shape mankind's future," George Yan, co-founder of Ehang, told Xinhua.

The two companies have agreed to work together over the next fifteen years on a program known as the Manufactured Organ Transport Helicopter (MOTH) system to optimize the 184 for organ delivery. The collaboration stands to revolutionize the way organs are transported, with the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.

Lung Biotechnology plans to station the MOTH rotorcraft outside its organ manufacturing facilities, and use programmed flight plans to hospitals and recharging pads within the MOTH radius so that the manufactured organs can be delivered within their post-production window of viability.

"The well-known locations of transplant hospitals and future organ manufacturing facilities make the EHang technology ideal for Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS) and Low-Level IFR Route (LLIR) programs," Martine Rothblatt, chairman and chief executive officer of Lung Biotechnology, said in a statement.

"We anticipate delivering hundreds of organs a day, which means that the MOTH system will help save not only tens of thousands of lives, but also many millions of gallons of aviation transport gasoline annually," Rothblatt added.

"This is exactly the kind of global impact we envisioned when building the 184," said Hu Huazhi, founder and chief executive officer of EHang.

Established in April 2014, EHang is headquartered in China's southern city of Guangzhou. In January this year, the company launched its EHang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV), the first drone to offer autonomous human flight over short-to-medium distances. Endi

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