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Greek startup disrupting drone space

EntrepreneurCountry Global Monday, 12 May 2014.

Drones are rarely out of the news, but a humanitarian startup led by Greek-American entrepreneur Andreas Raptopoulos and his company Matternet aims to revolutionise the way we perceive these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Goliath online retail company Amazon has already gone public with their plans to use unmanned drones to deliver goods to their customers' homes, but Matternet has an even more innovative and admirable goal.

shutterstock 188506913Observing that many major technical advances originate with the military before moving into the public sphere, Matternet aims to use drones to deliver humanitarian aid throughout the developing world. Exchanging missiles for medicine, the company describes itself as delivering a 'next-generation transportation system'. By bypassing the need for navigable roads, these drones would be able fly to wherever they are needed, delivering aid to remote communities in war-torn and third world countries.

Tests have already been carried out in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and most recently Lesotho, where the company hopes to provide active assistance in tackling the country's AIDS epidemic. Even lab test results could be transported by air, as eight-propeller drones can carry up to 2kg. In time, the company intends to develop UAVs that can carry heavier supplies. Transforming a controversial weapon into a powerful force for good - we're looking forward to hearing more from this disruptive company.

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