Belgian Engineer Invents Ambulance Drone

January 22, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. drone /droʊn/ (n.) – a small aircraft that has no pilot
Example: In my country, drones are used to deliver pizza.

2. conceptualize /kənˈsɛp tʃu əˌlaɪz/ (v.) – to make a plan or to create an idea
Example: The scientists met to conceptualize a new robot.

3. response time /rɪˈspɒns taɪm/ (n.) – the time it takes for something to reach a destination
Example: Ambulances should have a quick response time.

4. bystander /ˈbaɪˌstæn dər/ (n.) – a person not involved but present in an event
Example: The bystander made an emergency call after witnessing the car crash across the street.

5. work in progress /wɜrk ɪn ˈprɒg rɛs/ (idiom) – a project that is not yet finished
Example: The student was not allowed to graduate because his thesis is still a work in progress.


Read the text below.
A Belgian engineer is developing an emergency drone that can increase the chances of saving lives in cases of cardiac arrests. 

The emergency drone can fly at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. Weighing four kilograms, the drone has a built-in defibrillator that can deliver up to 50 shocks. It also has a webcam as well as a GPS, which gives the location of the patient. However, the drone has a battery life of only 10 minutes.

Industrial engineer Alec Momont invented the drone. He conceptualized it as a solution to the lengthy response time of ambulances. Unlike ambulances, the drone can travel without encountering road problems. It can locate the emergency call’s signal and reach its location via its GPS. With its speed, the drone can arrive as fast as a minute if the destination is within a 12-square-kilometer distance.

The defibrillator is a valuable aiding device during emergency situations such as respiratory problems, heart failures, and drowning. Bystanders would be able to operate the defibrillator as medical professionals guide them through the drone’s camera.

According to Momont, the drone will greatly improve the chances of survival of patients with heart problems. About 800,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest in the European Union every year, and only eight percent survive, Momont said. With the help of the drone, the survival rate can increase to 80 percent.

However, the drone is still a work in progress. Momont is hoping to have it ready for commercial use in five years, with a price tag of 15,000 euros each.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you want to have these emergency drones in your country? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the disadvantages of Momont’s drone? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What other situation/s do you think a drone would be useful in? Please explain your answer.
·         What technological device would you invent to help save lives? Please explain your answer.

January 22, 2015