EcoSoar is an aircraft made from foam core pasteboard and 3D printed parts meant to carry medical supplies. The idea was developed, designed and rolled out by a consortium of students, lecturers, and experts. The partnership comprised of 13 students from Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Virginia Tech graduate students, Zack Standridge in aerospace engineering, James Donnelly of mechanical engineering, and Kevin Kochersberger, an associate professor in mechanical engineering who built five EcoSoar drones for two days in a workshop.
The UNICEF is promoting the program especially to those who have an urge of taking the drone program to developing countries. The drone will serve better in low resource areas. The project is not only meant for medical services but also for the environmental purposes. An idea which coasted $350, now in the form of a flying object, weighs about 4.5 ounces with cameras affixed to it. The drone can fly at a distance of 1km above visual line of sight (BVLOS).
The minds behind the project are indeed proud after a series of overwhelming work and seeing the idea successful. Seeing such an idea brought to reality by the local students under the guidance of the local institution tells where Malawi has reached in its pursuit of embracing technology.
The drone can easily deliver medicine to remote and hard to access areas. It’s a practical example of how crucial it is to build local capacity in the drone sector. The only way to help the communities that are challenged resource wise is by embossing the innovations from the locals. The EcoSoar will be fully unveiled by 2018 when the version is ready, and it will give a better ground to the investors to recognize the idea.