Last month, a University of Maryland unmanned aerial system (UAS or drone) delivered a donor kidney to surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore for an ultimately successful transplant to a patient with kidney failure. The drone flew 2.6 miles in approximately 10 minutes.

This University of Maryland project is important to determine whether this process of delivery works; if it is a proven system of delivery, unmanned organ transport can potentially be done at much greater distances. This would minimize the need for multiple pilots and flight time and address safety issues.

The drone flight was monitored by AiRXOS Air Mobility Platform, which manages the volume, density and variety of UAS traffic data for safe operations, as well as a separate apparatus for maintaining and monitoring a viable human organ.