AT&T Tests Drone Delivery Of Medical Supplies In Flying Smartbox

AT&T has tested using LTE-connected drones to deliver temperature-sensitive medical supplies.

A connected drone carrying a thermal-insulated packaging system called Skypod made by Softbox, completed demonstration flights powered by AT&T’s IoT technology. The field trial with pharmaceutical company Merck took place in locations across Puerto Rico. Softbox provides temperature control packaging to the pharmaceutical industry.

“The drone test flights give us hope that we will be able to provide a reliable supply of our medicines for disaster,” stated Brenda Colatrella, executive director, corporate responsibility at Merck.

AT&T’s IoT technology tracks the location and internal and external temperatures of the box. To identify potential tampering, light exposure data signals if the box has been opened or closed.

“With the 2018 hurricane season upon us, we are thinking about the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year,” stated John Vladimir Slamecka, AT&T region president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “This trial is a fantastic example of ‘IoT for Good,’ showcasing that it’s possible for connected medical drones to deliver vital medicines to people in times of disaster.”

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