Drones to join fight against coronavirus by shuttling blood and test swabs between hospitals

The cargo drones will soon be helping the capital deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Cargo drones shuttling back and forth between two Warsaw hospitals, carrying blood and test swabs will soon be helping the capital deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Planned as a medical air bridge, the cargo drone system will connect an Interior Ministry hospital with a temporary COVID-19 hospital at Warsaw's National Stadium.

Project co-ordinator Dariusz Werschner (pictured) said that the drones “are equipped with a special cargo module, which is secured by a magnetic key in order to prevent unauthorised persons from opening it.”Leszek Szymański/PAP

The two drones operating between the hospitals will take just eight minutes to complete the 7.5-kilometre route.

Although test flights planned for Monday had to be postponed till next week regular flights should begin within two weeks after the tests have been completed.

The drones to be used are Hermes hi-tech computerised flying robots produced by the Polish company Spartaqs.Leszek Szymański/PAP

The drones to be used are Hermes hi-tech computerised flying robots produced by the Polish company Spartaqs.

The Hermes, which has been adapted to fly in urban environments, has undergone several tests and has been authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority to perform operational beyond-line-of-sight flights.

It will take the drones just four minutes to carry blood and test swabs between hospitals.Leszek Szymański/PAP

"They are equipped with a special cargo module, which is secured by a magnetic key in order to prevent unauthorised persons from opening it," said Dariusz Werschner, coordinator of the project for Spartaqs.

One of the droids competed a test flight in April, which Werschner described as the “first cargo drone flight in Polish history”.