German Cargo Drones Delivering Blood Samples

Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 09

Drohnen: Fliegende Helfer für die Krankenhauslogistik ( April 20, 2015)

(Editor’s Note: Original article is in German, title translates to “Drones: Flying Helpers for Hospital Logistics”.)

What Article Chronicles:

A chain of three German hospitals, the Agaplesion Frankfurter Diakonie Kliniken, wants to use drones to transport blood and lab samples.

Circa 50 to 70 times per year, blood must be quickly delivered from the central blood bank and laboratory to one of the chain’s three hospitals as part of an emergency situation. However, due to typical Frankfurt rush hour traffic, it can take up to 20 minutes for a 5 km (3.1 mile) trip. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could potentially do the same trip in 5 minutes.

Agaplesion partnered up with HiSystems Gmbh to test out the concept. As Mr. Dennis Göbel, managing director of Agaplesion states, this is not “an Amazon-type business – we want to save lives, not deliver books.”

German and EU laws require that drones remain in view of their pilots at all times and prohibit flight over densely populated areas. Drones may also not fly higher than 100 meters (328 feet). As such, test flights for the unmanned drone delivery of blood and laboratory sample have only occurred on private land but the maiden flight over the Frankfurt cityscape is still pending.

Official UAV / Drone Name:


Basic UAV/ Drone Description: 

All-weather, 4.5 kg (9.9 lb), six-rotor UAV with three-dimensional locating and positioning capabilities via onboard camera, GPS and air pressure sensors. In case of emergency maneuvers, the drone can return itself to predetermined flight corridors. Should engine problems or a low battery situation occur, the UAV can autonomously fly back to its starting point and land without pilot assistance.


Up to 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) via small thermally insulated containers.


Approximately 15 km (9.3 miles).


Up to 70 km/hr (43 mi/hr).

Companies Involved:


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