By Navajo Times | Jan 31, 2022
On Saturday, ZappCare, a Native American-owned company, and MissionGo launched the first-ever drone demonstration at Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock to show how it can deliver medical supplies other essential items to residents living in remote areas.
ZappCare CEO Mark Atlan and MissionGo founder Scott Plank performed four deliveries of food, medical and emergency supplies using the drone.
With a maximum carrying load of 14 pounds, each of the four deliveries contained packages assembled by first responders, Navajo Technical University’s culinary arts program, pharmacists, and veterinarians.
This allows a small team of operators to manage each drone, saving valuable time and resources in emergencies on the Nation.
With a more than 20-mile flight radius and the ability to capture live video and solar-powered technology, each drone can follow flight paths in different weather conditions.
This technology could be used to improve rural addressing and geological surveying and perhaps to deliver ballots to increase voting access.
Drones were used this past summer to assess flooding damage caused by monsoons in the Birdsprings, Arizona, community and to monitor a wildfire in Shiprock.
Joining the MissionGo flight team for observation was Navajo Technical University senior and industrial engineering major Marcie Vandever. Company officials said they would train Diné, such as her, to operate drone technology teams in the future.