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  • This is Rwanda.

  • Nestled between these plantations, village homes

  • and meandering mountain roads

  • is a patch of land no bigger than a football field.

  • From here this guy launches drones that carry blood

  • to doctors racing to save their patients' lives.

  • He's the delivery man of the future

  • and he's one of the first people ever to get the job.

  • Now, he's waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

  • (drone engine)

  • (light upbeat music)

  • As technology replaces old jobs,

  • it's also creating new ones.

  • I'm Aki Ito and I'm here to show you the jobs of the future.

  • My name is Nizeyimana Abdoul Salam

  • and I'm a drone operator.

  • Abdoul works for a start-up called Zipline.

  • This is where, catch the drones, that's recovery system.

  • And in front of you, this is where we launch the drones.

  • Cool.

  • Zipline is headquartered in California.

  • But it's all the way here, west of Rwanda's capital, Kigali,

  • that the company's launched one

  • of the world's first drone delivery services.

  • (drone engine)

  • So beautiful. (laughs)

  • Does it ever get old? No.

  • Yeah.

  • Abdoul and his coworkers are tackling a deadly problem here.

  • Rwanda is among the poorest countries in the world.

  • And much of it is connected by winding, bumpy, dirt roads

  • in the mountains, that get washed out in the rainy seasons.

  • That's made it incredibly difficult for regional hospitals

  • to procure blood in an emergency.

  • Leaving doctors unable to perform

  • many lifesaving operations.

  • The hospital have to procure the car.

  • You have to drive on and off for three or four hours

  • to Kigali, get blood and then come back.

  • That's complicated.

  • The coast is clear, (mumbles)

  • and launch the Zipline one three three.

  • When a hospital asks for blood

  • the Zipline team gets moving.

  • If it's a typical day, a normal day,

  • you grab a package, you load it in the plane,

  • you get the plane ready for launch.

  • Flush and secure.

  • You launch it.

  • (drone engine)

  • (cheering)

  • And then you wait for the next order.

  • Guided by GPS and other sensors,

  • the drone flies itself to one of the hospitals it serves.

  • Then it reaches its destination and drops off its payload.

  • Hospital staff retrieve the supplies

  • and the drone heads back to the base.

  • And then, this happens.

  • It's kinda like catching a fish.

  • That's just so complicated, more than that.

  • (laughs) It's a little more complicated.

  • {[Abdoul] Yeah.

  • Look at the space in between here, it's tiny.

  • It's really small.

  • Okay, now you can lift it.

  • Wow! It's incredibly light.

  • Will you hire me now?

  • Yeah.

  • (laughs)

  • Abdoul's doing pretty well for himself these days.

  • He's got a job he loves and he's studying for grad school.

  • But all that success today is built

  • from unimaginable tragedy.

  • When he was three, the Rwandan government stepped up

  • its decades-long assault on the Tutsi minority,

  • ordering everyone in the Hutu majority to kill all Tutsis.

  • (eerie music)

  • In just a hundred days 800,000 people were slaughtered

  • by their neighbors and their friends.

  • When the people doing the genocide showed up

  • my father was the first to step up.

  • He could hear the voice in the corridor, people talking.

  • Asking where is the rest of the family?

  • Then they killed him and they came in,

  • they found us in this tiny room.

  • And then they basically hit anyone, everyone with a machete.

  • I have a small, you see that?

  • Yeah. Wow!

  • Despite the head wound, Abdoul survived.

  • His two siblings and his parents didn't .

  • He ended up at a homeless shelter,

  • then his grandma found him and took him in.

  • It was hard, I was a stubborn kid at school

  • and I was a lot of trouble to my grandma.

  • Sometimes I would just quit school.

  • So definitely I think the first couple years

  • of school was really, really hard.

  • Yeah, you were dealing with a trauma.

  • Yeah and then after that I found my life again.

  • I was like, okay, if I get my education right

  • and I use the knowledge I have to serve the community,

  • then I'm happy with my life.

  • Abdoul studied engineering in college

  • while holding a variety of repair and maintenance jobs.

  • When Zipline opened its first distribution center

  • in rural Rwanda, he jumped at the chance to work

  • on cutting edge drone technology.

  • But his grandma was sad to see

  • him move out of her home in Kigali.

  • And others in his extended family worried

  • he was leaving better opportunities behind.

  • In Rwanda if you dress well, you go work with a suit,

  • and you have a big office, your family will be very happy.

  • They thought you were successful.

  • If you know you may be paid way less than someone

  • who's dirty every day, (mumbles)

  • they are true definition of being successful.

  • Have you ever worn a suit to Zipline?

  • No. (laughs)

  • Eventually, they all came around.

  • This spring, Rwanda commemorated 24 years

  • since the genocide.

  • In those years the economy's grown seven-fold.

  • In the bustling city markets, the crowds of giggling kids,

  • and the smiles of young mothers in the villages,

  • you sense the optimism everywhere.

  • From Google to Amazon, tech giants

  • around the world are now racing to get

  • their drone delivery trials off the ground.

  • (drone engine)

  • It's been exciting for Abdoul to be

  • at the forefront of all that.

  • But would drives him is the impact

  • he's making closer to home.

  • I feel like I got another chance to live.

  • So what I want to use that chance for?

  • Having a lot of beers, buying cars.

  • What should I use that second chance for?

  • And I think using it for serving the community

  • and make an impact on other people's life

  • was what makes sense for me.

  • (soft music)

This is Rwanda.

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The Medical Drone Delivery Pilot

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/27
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