University Of Maryland Successfully Completes First Autonomous Drone Delivery Of Organ For Transplant

May 2, 2019

This is a video from the University Of Maryland's School Of Medicine documenting the first successful drone delivery of an organ for transplant. The kidney, which was destined for a 44-year old woman who's been on dialysis for the past eight years, made a three mile journey via autonomous drone to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, where it was successfully transplanted. Some more info while I bet the Tin Man and Scarecrow wish they'd thought of this before hiking all the way to the Emerald City:

The team's leader, Dr. Joseph R. Scalea, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said he pursued the project after constant frustration over organs taking too long to reach his patients. After organs are removed from a donor, they become less healthy with each passing second. He recalled one case when a kidney from Alabama took 29 hours to reach his hospital.


The drone used in this month's test had backup propellers and motors, dual batteries and a parachute recovery system, to guard against catastrophe if one component encountered a problem 400 feet in the air. Two pilots on the ground monitored it using a wireless network, and were prepared to override the automated flight plan in case of emergency. The drone also had built-in devices to measure temperature, barometric pressure and vibrations, among other indicators.

Dr. Scalea called the flight "proof of concept that this broken system can be innovated."

The future, ladies and gentlemen. Of course now we probably have to worry about organ pirates trying to intercept drones on their way to the hospital and selling their contents on the black market. People are the worst. "What's up with the net gun?" Relax, it's for LARPing this weekend.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Shannon S, who agrees the future keeps creeping its way toward us.

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