Local invention to help deliver medicines in Africa & Caribbean
One Glen Allen man’s invention is taking off and about to impact the lives of people living in third world countries. And it may change the way you get your mail one day, too.
Two years ago, we introduced you to Brandon Pargoe of Glen Allen. He invented AirBox, a secure way for drones to deliver medicine and packages.
Now his company is about to start delivering medicine to people in need in Africa and the Caribbean.
The solar-powered AirBox uses SMART technology to send a drone its location using GPS coordinates. When the drone arrives, the doors open. The drone drops the package inside, the AirBox closes and locks. It sends the recipient an encrypted code through an app that can be used to open the AirBox and retrieve the package.
Pargoe invented the AirBox after recovering from a brain tumor and stroke.
“It really helped me to analyze my life and what I wanted to do, and I wanted to be able to give back,” said Pargoe, co-founder of Drone Delivery Systems.
Give back, he says, by helping to deliver medicine to people in third world countries, who may not have an address or roads that delivery trucks can reach. His company, Drone Delivery Systems, has partnered with Astral Airlines to start delivering to families in Kenya.
Explained Pargoe, “Instead of waiting in clinics for two hours, three hours to get the medicine they need, or home bound patients, there won’t be the constant need of family members to take them to the pharmacy and get them to places that they need. I just feel we shouldn’t have this issue.”
Pargoe says Drone Delivery Systems has also been selected by the United Nations Office for Project Services to build a plant on the Caribbean Island of Antigua, where they’ll soon manufacture AirBoxes and begin delivery services.
“As we know, Hurricane Irma went through there 20 months ago and completely destroyed that area,” said Pargoe. “Right now they’re getting supplies once every five days from a fishing boat. We’re going to start doing some project pilots where we are going to fly by drone medicines from Antigua to Barbuda, for people to receive the care they deserve.”
Americans may also have this type of mailbox in the near future. Pargoe says he’s in talks with American companies to start using AirBoxes for deliveries. He hopes secure drone delivery will cut down on so-called ‘porch pirates’ stealing packages left on doorsteps.
Drone delivery is also considered environmentally-friendly. AirBoxes are solar powered and drones don’t produce the emissions of delivery trucks.
Pargoe says the secure package drop-off can reduce the need for trucks to re-deliver packages when recipients are not home.