As social distancing continues, drones can offer a safe and environmentally friendly solution for delivering medical supplies.
Drone companies developing methods to deliver COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and rural communities are to receive a share of government funding.
Twenty projects in the UK will benefit from the £7m package which is designed to drive innovation during the pandemic.
As human to human contact must still be limited, drones can offer a solution for providing medical supplies at a distance.
One of the beneficiaries, Essex-based Apian Limited, is building a drone to deliver medical supplies like coronavirus blood and swab tests between NHS hospitals and labs in response.
And a trio of fund-winning limited companies situated in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - Droneprep, Consortiq and Windracers - will use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver PPE and testing kits to rural communities in the county.
Meanwhile, Windracers Distributed Avionics, based in Southampton and Bristol, will develop swarming technology which intends to allow multiple drones to fly in close formations to provide humanitarian aid or fight fires.
The challenge aims to reduce the reliance on road travel and increase UK manufacturing opportunities.
Other successful bids include companies investing in hydrogen-fuelled delivery planes and designers creating technology to enable remote inspections of infrastructure and construction sites.
Close to half of those awarded the cash plan to use it to create technology that will help tackle the pandemic, said the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Business minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "As the UK leads the way in the aviation revolution, these bold proposals showcase the pioneering spirit of the UK's aerospace and aviation industries in solving global issues, and those facing us here in the UK."
He predicted the funding outlay would create "hundreds of new jobs".
Reported 9 November 2020 on news.sky.com: Read the entire article here.
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