Commercial drones are quickly becoming a household possession. In the past two years, we have seen plenty of companies launch tiny drone toys and similar products while many other —including e-commerce mammoth Amazon — show interest in using drones in their business. A patent granted to Google last night reveals Mountain View-based company’s plan to tap on this new product line to make some good use of it.

google drones

Last night the US Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to Google. The description of the patent titled “Providing emergency medical services using unmanned aerial vehicles” gives away company’s upcoming plan to use a fleet of ambulance drones that will help to reach humans stranded in remote locations during medical emergencies.

“Embodiments described herein may help to provide medical support via a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). An illustrative medical-support system may include multiple UAVs, which are configured to provide medical support for a number of different medical situations,” the abstract reads. “Further, the medical-support system may be configured to: (a) identify a remote medical situation, (b) determine a target location corresponding to the medical situation, (c) select a UAV from the fleet of UAVs, where the selection of the UAV is based on a determination that the selected UAV is configured for the identified medical situation, and (d) cause the selected UAV to travel to the target location to provide medical support.”

The drones could be used to supply first aid kits, and defibrillators as well as well as supply water, as per the description. Drones “may include a package that is designed for a particular medical situation such as choking, cardiac arrest, shock, asthma, drowning, etc.”

Interestingly, the entire fleet of drones won’t be identical to each other and instead will be slightly different to serve a different purpose. It will be important to see if Google ever utilizes this patent. More often than not, companies patent their new technology or their pathway to solving a key technical problem but it never sees the light of the day. Sometimes they use it to just prevent other companies from doing the same, and charge high royalty if possible.


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Author

Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.