ANA partners on drone projects in Zambia and Japan

By Damian Brett

ANA Holdings, parent of All Nippon Airways, is working with partners to test and develop drone operations with projects in Zambia and Japan.

The company said that it would test pharma delivery drones in Zambia and create an inter-island transportation network in Goto City, Japan.  

In Zambia, ANA is working with drone firm Aerosense Inc. and the National Center for Global Health and Medicine to build a sustainable drone transportation network for blood samples.

Rapid blood testing in rural areas is viewed as key in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other devastating diseases, ANA said.

As part of an agreement with the Zambian government, the company will use its drones in the country starting in January 2020 through June 2021.

ANA will also be building drone infrastructure in Goto City, Japan as part of its partnership with the local government and Autonomous Control Systems Laboratories, NTT DOCOMO and PRODUCTION NAP.

The partners will work together to establish a logistics network that uses drones to improve delivery between the remote islands of Goto City. A trial began today and will continue through to October 4.

Located in Nagasaki prefecture, Goto City consists of 63 islands, of which only 11 are inhabited.

Because of the distance between islands and the region’s low population density, drones present the most viable means of connecting the islands which each other and the rest of Japan, ANA explained.

“The programme offers substantial benefits for local residents, regional retailers and medical service providers,”ANA said. “Participation in the Goto City Unmanned Logistics Council will simplify delivery to and from the islands as well as offer training for those in charge of drone logistics so that residents are able to make the most out of new drone infrastructure.”

The drone campaign is part of Japan’s Drone i-Land Project, with half of its budget funded by the Cabinet Office’s Regional Revitalization Promotion Grants.

“Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and we are always looking for opportunities to harness the latest breakthroughs in any way that we can as we work to improve quality of life around the globe,” said Yoshiaki Tsuda, vice president of ANA Digital Design Lab.

“ANA HD has built a reputation for leadership in the rapidly developing drone field and we are constantly searching for opportunities to find practical applications for this exciting technology. ANA HD has always believed in pushing technological boundaries through innovation and it is encouraging to see laboratory breakthroughs result in real world benefits.”

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