San Raffaele Hospital, which is based in Milan, Italy, has commenced the drone demonstrations for the Flying Future 2020 project (FF2020).

FF2020 is a research and innovation project sponsored by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme, which seeks to advance “Urban Air Mobility” in the country.

The hospital hosted the first demonstration on its ground on 18 March 2023.

The San Raffaele Hospital’s Center for Advanced Technologies for Health and Well-Being will carry out the demonstration campaign from the end of March to May 2023.

Through the campaign, the hospital intends to showcase two examples of innovative services created with drone technology, including the transportation of drugs and biological samples as well as hospital safety.

The first drone was designed to transport the medication from the pharmacy to the specified place while carrying the product in its container.

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The second drone had been designed to travel to a specific location marked on a map by the security personnel and transmit some real-time video footage.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority has approved both demonstrations.

EuroUSC Italia, the knowledge partner in the FF2020 project, provided advice to San Raffaele Hospital.

The drones were operated by ABzero, an Italian start-up that was a branch of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa and was housed at the Polo Tecnologico of Navacchio.

The technical project partner VERSES has incorporated the certified AI-equipped drone container, known as a Smart Capsule, into the intelligent digital system to perform logistics and monitoring tasks with more autonomy.

The hospital noted that the project resulted in the development of the necessary physical and digital infrastructure, as well as the expansion of experience and knowledge which can be used for the eventual deployment of these services.