ARLINGTON, Va./Darmstadt, Germany — Wingcopter have been named as a finalist in the XCELLENCE Awards by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI). The Germany-based manufacturer of autonomous delivery drones was selected from a pool of accomplished applicants as one of six finalists for the Humanitarian category.
Dedicated to improving the lives of people worldwide, a significant part of Wingcopter’s projects are of humanitarian nature. In fact, its aircraft are perfectly fitted for long-range delivery of urgently needed medical goods in areas where infrastructure is poor or destroyed, and traditional means of transport would take too long.
Thanks to its patented tilt-rotor mechanism the Wingcopter can take off and land in the smallest spaces, while at the same time fly as fast and efficiently as a fixed-wing unmanned aircraft. A proprietary winch mechanism even allows to safely and accurately lower the cargo at the point of destination without the need for any landing infrastructure.
Wingcopter has proven its technology works in various humanitarian projects. Examples of Wingcopter’s humanitarian missions include a project in the South Pacific island state of Vanuatu, where Wingcopter set up a drone-based on-demand supply network on behalf of the local Ministry of Health and supported by UNICEF. By delivering vaccines for children to 19 remote health clinics, delivery times could be reduced from several hours or even days to a few minutes. Also in Tanzania and Malawi, Wingcopter was able to prove that drone delivery can drastically shorten patients’ waiting times, especially for urgently needed medicines.
“Being recognized for our humanitarian efforts, something that is deeply rooted in our company DNA, encourages us to continue on the path we have chosen. Even though we will expand our activities in parcel and food delivery as well, we will always use our cutting-edge technology for the purpose of saving or improving people’s lives, as we believe that advances in technology should not be a privilege of economically developed societies,” explains Tom Plümmer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wingcopter.
The nomination as finalist in the XCELLENCE Awards for the Humanitarian category is not the first of this kind for Wingcopter.
The company recently won the #SmartDevelopmentHack, a global hackathon initiated by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) that solicited innovative digital solutions to tackle the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak in low- and middle-income countries.
Together with its partners UNICEF and African Drone and Data Academy, the team is granted up to €3 million to set up a locally operated medical delivery drone network in Malawi and build local capacity through training programs for 160 Malawian youth. Earlier this year, Wingcopter was awarded the Sustainable Development Goals Spotlight prize at NTT DATA’s Open Innovation Contest in Japan.