WeRobotics adds technology partner for its Flying Labs
Redwing has drunk the Flying Labs Kool Aid!
The Indian cargo drone maker was announced yesterday as the latest addition to robotics technology non-profit WeRobotics’s growing list of technology partners for its Flying Labs network.
Just to recap; Flying Labs is a network of over 30 drone and robotics services providers dotted across the Global South and identified by WeRobotics as fit to lead the search for solutions in their local communities in as far as drone and robotics-based problems are concerned.
So in practice, these Flying Labs will be on hand to offer their services in the best way possible because they practically grew up in the areas that would be needing the drone-based solutions. When drone technology is needed to help with search and rescue; and recovery operations after a natural disaster, for example; the local Flying Labs will be on hand to deploy its drones to the area in the full knowledge that they will have first-hand understanding of the local terrain, weather patterns and other cultural issues to consider, which an expatriate service provider would not be aware of.
In effect, the best thing about Flying Labs is that they are led by local citizens who are well versed with what their communities need and are knowledgeable about what can be done to offer long term solutions and even after sales service.
The labs are also heavily involved in preparing for future robotics entrepreneurs by training young kids on how to build, operate and work with drone and related robotics technology.
To keep themselves sharp and up to date with latest global trends and emerging technologies in the drone and robotics industry, Flying Labs work with technology partners, mainly manufacturers of drone and robotics systems who will help the labs with new technology information and also offer their products and access to training on how to use them.
And this is where Redwing comes in.
Based in Bangalore, Karnataka in India, the company develops and operates autonomous drone logistics systems for last-mile healthcare supply chains. Established in 2018, Redwing is no doubt set to benefit from the recent government ban on all drone imports and claim a stake as one of the fastest growing cargo drone companies in the country.
Redwing drones can travel autonomously for 50km while carrying up to 2kg in payload capacity. Along with the other software stacks that the company offers, it aims to set up logistics networks that can be handed over to the local population’s real stakeholders after an initiation phase.
Redwing’s partnership with WeRobotics will help them enter markets where this technology could bring transformational changes in the long term.
“We’re happy to welcome India’s Redwing Labs to the Flying Labs Network,” WeRobotics said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that Flying Labs will now have the opportunity to team up with Redwing Labs in the coming months and years.
“We first collaborated with Redwing in 2018 on a medical cargo drone project with Papua New Guinea Flying Labs, Fiji Flying Labs, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“The Redwing Team consistently went far above and beyond to make this project a resounding success, which enabled them to accelerate their efforts in India. It’s all too easy to focus exclusively on technology and technical expertise for these projects, so it’s worth noting that Redwing also differentiated themselves by the values, humility, and cultural intelligence they brought to the effort.
“This explains why we’ve been following their excellent work in India ever since.”
Within India, Redwing works with multiple stakeholders, who include the Ministries of Health and Civil Aviation; several state governments; healthcare enterprises; foundations, donors, and non-profit organisations.
Just last month, the company’s operators where in Odisha where they worked with Anamaya, the Tribal Health Collaborative an initiative of Piramal Foundation in deploying drones for faster transportation of sputum samples for screening and diagnosis in hard-to-reach areas of Kalahandi district, Odisha.
The pilot project resulted in the drones vastly reducing the time taken to cover the approximately 36-km distance to and from the diagnostic centre. By road it takes about an hour to traverse the hilly, uneven and forest-covered terrain – but the drone did it in just 20 minutes.
“WeRobotics and Flying Labs have been championing locally-led and locally-owned medical drone deliveries since 2016,” the non-profit further said. “Over the past six years, we’ve worked with multiple Ministries of Health; the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), UN, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, BD, Population Services International (PSI), and others to enable and expand the locally-led practice in critical cargo drone logistics.
“We have run professional, hands-on cargo training with Flying Labs and carried out locally-led medical deliveries in Peru, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Uganda, Madagascar, Benin, and the Philippines. These deliveries in 2021 and 2022 included the first-ever deliveries of COVID vaccines to very remote communities in Madagascar and the Philippines.”
In being inducted into the Flying Labs technology partner network, Redwing will be joining other respectable drone companies like DJI, AerialMetric, Avy, and Wingcopter.