Matternet is ready to launch a drone delivery network in Switzerland. Today the logistics company has unveiled a vital element that’s going to make it all possible: the Matternet Station. The Matternet team is aiming to take the complexity out of ‘the last mile’ with a hub that handles the delivery, and the first beneficiaries will be hospitals and medical centers in Switzerland.
The Matternet Station is the third and final component required to enable Matternet’s goal of a peer-to-peer drone logistics network. We’ve already seen the company’s drone, the M2. Matternet also has its own cloud platform that organizes deliveries and provides an intuitive user interface for sending and receiving packages.
Back in March, Matternet received authorization for full operations over densely populated areas in Switzerland. Now the company is ready to get started, beginning with a drone courier service that will be available to healthcare systems in Switzerland, automating the on-demand transportation of blood and pathology samples between hospitals and labs.
The Matternet Station
The Matternet Station is smaller than you might expect for what is vital drone delivery infrastructure. It occupies a space of approximately 2 square meters and has been designed to be easily installed on the ground or on rooftops.
The Station has been designed to control the entire delivery process. It’s equipped with technology that guides the Matternet M2 Drone to a precision landing on the platform. Once the drone has landed, it’s locked in place, fitted with a fresh battery and relieved of its cargo.
If you want to send it off with a new package, just scan the package in. If you’re there to collect, just allow to station to scan a QR code on your smartphone through the app. Each Station also prevents a traffic build-up with an “automated aerial deconfliction system” – it has its own computerized air traffic control system.
“With the Matternet Station, we’re introducing an extremely easy-to-use interface that enables true peer-to-peer drone delivery,” said Matternet CEO, Andreas Raptopoulos.
“For healthcare systems, an integrated Matternet network means that medical items can be delivered to any hospital facility within 30 minutes. This level of speed and predictability creates substantial opportunities for improved quality of care and operational savings.”
It’s not the first time medical deliveries have been given priority by drone delivery services and regulators. In Rwanda and Tanzania, another US startup, Zipline, is currently saving lives by delivering blood samples to rural locations on a daily basis.