Medical drone delivery Project CAELUS is moving to next stage


A consortium working to launch the UK’s first medical drone delivery service, Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland (CAELUS) said the project is progressing to the next stage. CAELUS is holding an official launch event on September 6, at Glasgow Airport, that will include presentations from consortium members on progression and a timeline for future phases.

The project secured £10.1m in funding from the Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in July, 2022.

It was the second successful round of funding for the CAELUS which is led by AGS Airports in partnership with NHS Scotland.

The project, which brings together 16 partners, if operational will transport essential medicines, bloods and other medical supplies throughout Scotland including remote communities.

After securing £1.5m in January 2020, CAELUS has designed drone landing stations for NHS sites across Scotland and developed a digital twin of the proposed delivery network which connects hospitals, pathology laboratories, distribution centres and GP surgeries across Scotland.

The second phase of the project will involve live flight trials. These will be operated by consortium member, Skyports. The UK-based drone services provider is experienced, in early trial flights with NHS Scotland in 2020 and 2021, it completed over 12,000 of flight hours in the region.

Gary Cutts, Future Flight Challenge director, UKRI said: “With the potential to quickly deliver medicines, bloods and other medical supplies on demand, the CAELUS project laid the groundwork for revolutionising health care access across Scotland. We know these technologies can change people’s lives, but it’s important we work with communities to understand how they will best benefit from them. By working with local communities and taking a national approach CAELUS 2 will strengthen heath care provision in Scotland.”