A team of L3Harris Technologies and Near Earth Autonomy has showcased to the U.S. Army an autonomous drone designed to deliver blood and other medical supplies to field medics stationed hundreds of miles from bases.
L3Harris said Tuesday its FVR-90 vertical take-off and landing aircraft was equipped with Near Earth’s autonomous flight systems and has demonstrated its capability at Fort Pickett in Virginia as part of an. Army program.
The drone was able to fly packages while hovering and detecting unobstructed surfaces for landing.
“When combined with autonomous delivery zone evaluation, vertical takeoff and landing and long-distance flight can transform field supply logistics,” said Dave Duggan, president of precision engagement systems at L3Harris.
The government-sponsored demonstration is part of an Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center project to find ways of providing medics with access to whole blood for hemorrhagic shock treatment.
“This project allowed us to demonstrate the utility of autonomous, safe landing in complex, unstructured environment,” said Sanjiv Singh, CEO of Near Earth.
Nathan Fisher, chief of the medical robotic and autonomous division at TATRC, noted that the capability will enable critical supplies to reach patients without needing any forward infrastructure.