Protest drone will fly abortion drugs across Polish border

From the near-mythical taco-copter that never existed to Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery system, the idea of ​​transporting goods to people by stealing a robot remains compelling, despite few practical applications. For every serious attempt, there are also plenty of gimmick drones, which use the technology more as a means of grabbing headlines than anything else. Here’s an example: This Saturday, the Dutch activist group Women on Waves plans to deliver boxes of mifepristone and misoprostol, pills used for medical abortion, to a city in Poland where access to abortion legal is severely restricted.

According to the image from the Women on Wave ad, the drone used resembles one of the early DJI Phantom models, which is a relatively affordable quadcopter that can carry around half a pound. The pills are light; in the photo, he is carrying two small white boxes. The drone can fly for around 25 minutes, but the drone doesn’t have to go very far: the plan is that it will fly from Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany to Słubice in Poland, a distance of only a few thousand miles. feet which includes the width of the Oder River. Assuming all goes as planned, Women on Waves will host an event where they will then answer questions from the media.

This is an attempt to openly smuggle medical supplies across international borders. In their announcement, Women on Waves emphasizes the legality of their flight, with footnotes citing the Polish and German laws:

Because this is a media event, the important thing is as much the delivery policy as its success. Smuggling drugs across the border would be one way to ensure they get into the hands of those who need them, but drones don’t yet have a good track record as legal delivery vehicles, let alone as successful smugglers. Last August, the South Carolina Department of Corrections said it found a crashed drone outside a prison surrounded by contraband items like a cellphone, marijuana and tobacco. Earlier this year, a methamphetamine smuggling drone crashed south of San Diego. According to the Tijuana police, this drone was flying according to pre-programmed GPS coordinates, but it is sometimes difficult to manage even with a human crew ready to react and operating seamlessly.

Refinery29

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