We’ve written about drones that deliver medical supplies to first responders and mobile apps that help bystanders on the scene with cardiac arrest victims find emergency defibrillators. Students at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) recently demonstrated an AI-driven rescue drone that can deliver a defibrillator in crowded city locations or remote rural areas.

Team leader team Balázs Nagy from the TUM Institute of Flight System Dynamics and 70 others from nine different university departments developed the drone prototype for the Horyzn project. The TUM group and the Bavarian Red Cross coordinated in a simulated emergency test flight. The drone has a 3-meter wing span and an overall length of 2 meters. When the drone is dispatched via a mobile emergency call, it flies to the reported coordinates, hovers over the scene, and lowers a defibrillator with a winch.

Next steps for the Horyzn projects in 2022 start with applying for licenses to operate from German and EU aviation regulatory bodies. With the appropriate licenses in hand, the TUM team foresees stationing hundreds of the drones in rural areas where conventional rescue centers can dispatch drones with defibrillator payloads via existing rescue network operations.