B1 Intermediate 18 Folder Collection
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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)
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The Medical Drone Delivery Pilot

18 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 28, 2020
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