Swiss hospitals pilot lab-sample drone delivery

The drones have carried out some 70 flights so far

Two hospitals in the Swiss city of Lugano have been testing the use of drones since mid-March. Swiss Post has facilitated a number of test flights, during which lab samples have been transported. The postal service has since announced its intention to establish this as a regular service by 2018.  

Over the last two weeks, drones produced by California company Matternet have completed 70 autonomous flights. The drones flew between the two hospitals without anyone piloting them. Matternet says the drones are monitored remotely to ensure nothing goes wrong. 

The drones in question are 31-inches in diameter and can carry up to 4lbs. They travel and 22 miles per hour. 

How it works:

Both hospitals have landing pads placed outside of their buildings. The drone takes off at one and drops the package delivery at the other, once on the ground.  

Hospital staff load the drone and press a button on an app, which they have been trained to use.  

The trial was approved by the Swiss Aviation Authority. The aim is to have drones delivering supplies between in two hospitals regularly by 2018.