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Ambulance Drone Using Raspberry Pi 3 in

Emergency Healthcare
Puja Ghosal Shalini Singh Debanjan Das
Department of Information Technology Department of Information Technology Department of Information Technology
Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology
Kolkata, India Kolkata, India Kolkata , India
pujaghosal2000@gmail.com shalini70396@gmail.com debanjandas23@gmail.com

Md Golam Mohiuddin Swati Pandit Indrajit Das

Department of Information Technology Department of Information Technology Department of Information Technology
Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology
Kolkata, India Kolkata , India Kolkata , India
mdgolammohiuddin892@gmail.com swati.pandit30@gmail.com indrajitdas1979@hotmail.com

Abstract— In case of crucial medical emergency a huge the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various ways
number of individuals suffer majorly or even die on a daily of autonomy either under remote operator control by a
basis due to the time lag taken by the Ambulance human or autonomously by onboard computers by artificial
administration to reach the accident/emergency site. This intelligence.
occurs because of traffic jams, road blockage in the city, or
The more the number of motors and propellers, the most
unavailability of ambulance. However it is possible to reduce
this healthcare problem situation. A model of an Unmanned thrust it can make. So the best decision to utilize is the quad
Ariel Vehicle (UAV) or an ambulance drone, which can reach copter as the framework involves four brushless direct
the deadly cases quicker than any ordinary rescue vehicle, current engines (BLDC) which are utilized alongside the
which spares time and likewise measures the distinctive propellers to give them the essential push [1]. A 2200 milli-
wellbeing parameters utilizing its estimating gadgets. At the ampere hour (mAh) electrical storage gadget controls the
point when a telephone call is given to the emergency number, automaton. The automaton all around furnished with a
the administrator tracks the area and sends the UAV with patient observing framework is intended to travel to an
required immediate first aid to the location. The healthcare accident or emergency zone and it is utilized to control the
drone enters the emergency scene and continuous instructions
situation there [2]. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have
are given by the administrator. The UAV comprises of a small
framework which includes various sensors which can be regularly been used for remote sensing and aerial imagery
helpfully joined to the casualty body and the essential collection, but there are new opportunities to use drones for
parameters is estimated and it is instantly sent to the rescue medical emergencies 3. The different sensors that we use in
vehicle and to the control room or nearby hospital utilizing our model are a Temperature sensor, ECG sensor, Heart rate
worldwide situating framework and ZIGBEE. The specific monitor. ECG sensor is utilized to decide the rate and
outcome helps the paramedics and additionally the specialists periodicity of heartbeats and furthermore the presence of
to assess the circumstance easily with better symptomatic and any mutilation to the heart [3]. The temperature sensor is
remedial decisions. In this manner, the objective is to build up utilized to distinguish the patient body temperature.
a generally useful therapeutic toolbox that can be flown to any
Utilization of ZIGBEE or a SIM card module is
emergency circumstance and it is utilized to give the real-time
circumstance results to the rescue vehicle and the clinic group fundamentally used for the transmission of information
so they will be prepared to serve to the requirements of the gathered from the emergency area. ZIGBEE can
patients. This model backs the standard ambulances instead of communicate information expanded regions. The system of
supplanting the ordinary emergency vehicle. ZIGBEE proposed is to be less difficult and more affordable
than a Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth.
Keywords—ambulance drone, raspberry pi 3, ECG sensor, The information about the existing ambulance system is
Arduino Nano given below.


In case of a medical emergency, the chances of a person’s To tackle emergency situations like accidents or other such
survival decreases rapidly if not attended to immediately. emergencies generally ambulance cars or mini trucks are
Modern hospitals are well equipped to handle such used which use the roadways. Due to exponential increase in
situations, however the ambulance could get stuck in traffic traffic and some roads being very narrow for a vehicle to go
or face road blockages, further delaying the chance of the or some roads don’t even have asphalts on them, the
victim’s survival. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), ambulance is unable to reach the crisis situation on time
commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human which ultimately reduces the chances of a person getting
pilot aboard. UAVs are a component of an unmanned saved. Another way of getting to the emergency spot is by
aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground- air, where a helicopter is used as an ambulance in extreme
based controller, and a system of communications between emergencies of the countries only. These air ambulances are
very costly to operate and always require a continuous
human supervision and not all hospitals have a helipad built sensor, Arduino Nano, Raspberry Pi 3, Camera, GPS, and
on their roof for some emergency landing. Neither can every Quadcopter. Each and every component of the system is explained
hospital or patient afford it. Hence it is seen that there are a below.
few disadvantages in these existing processes. A. Raspberry Pi 3
The proposed system of Ambulance drone is explained in
detail next.


The prototype that has been proposed is an emergency

ambulance drone controlled by a human sitting in a control
room. When an accident takes place or someone gets a
cardiac arrest or some emergency situation occurs where
immediate medical attention is required, someone nearby
can use/dial the emergency application/phone number and
call for the drone. The patient’s location is sent to the
control room and the drone can be driven to that place
without any obstacle. After reaching its destination the
drone carries a thermometer, pulse monitor, ECG Sensor, Fig. 2. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
medicines and some other sensors. A camera module
attached on the drone helps in live streaming the whole
process, so the person controlling the drone can judge the
Here in the fig. 2 the smallest computer on board is used,
current situation of the patient with the help of a doctor and
which is quite powerful to tackle more than one task at a
give immediate care like medicines, cotton, gauges etc. until
time. It has a 1.2GHZ processor with 1GB ram, Wi-Fi and
an ambulance arrives from the nearest hospital. All the data
Bluetooth built in. It has one Ethernet port, four USB ports
like live streaming of the situation and patient details are
and forty General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) pins. These
securely transferred using a developed cryptography and
GPIO pins are used to connect all the necessary sensors and
steganography algorithms over ZIGBEE and GSM
other microcontrollers to obtain data which is required in the
The hardware and design used along with their workings
and test figure is described below.
B. GPS Sensor

Fig. 3. Ublox Neo-6M

An Ublox Neo-6M GPS sensor (Fig.3) is used for locating

the drone once it is sent from the control room. The GPS
coordinates are obtained by a python code in raspberry pi
and is sent to the control room directly after every 5 seconds
in a secured manner through ZIGBEE/GSM protocols.
Fig. 1. System Overview

The system overview of the drone is depicted in Fig 1. It has

many interconnection of systems in it. However, it mainly
comprises of Pulse monitor, Temperature sensor, ECG
C. Pulse Monitor

Fig. 4. Pulse Monitor Fig. 6. Camera module

It is a small sensor on which if someone’s finger is kept for Here Raspberry Pi’s own camera module i.e., PiCam NOIR
few seconds it can detect that person’s pulse rate. It consists 8MP low light camera is used. It is capable of taking images
of a green led and a detector like a light detecting resistor or and videos quiet fast and it stores them in the Pi’s secondary
a photodiode. Some of the light is absorbed and the storage device.
remaining is reflected. This reflected light is detected by the
photodiode, the amount of light absorbed depends on the
G. Arduino Nano
volume of blood present. The sensor output is in electrical
signal form and is proportional to the person’s pulse rate.

D. ECG Sensor (AD8232)

Fig. 5. ECG Sensor (AD8232) Fig. 7. Arduino Nano

ECG stands for Electrocardiogram; it is used to measure the It is a very commonly used development board which uses
electrical activity of heart. The ECG signals are very noisy Atmel Atmega328p microcontroller which has 2Kb SRAM
hence here AD8232 sensor is used to get the activity of the and 32Kb flash storage. Required code has to be written in
heart in a smooth waveform. Here three electrodes are used Arduino ide and the code has to be uploaded in the board
to obtain the signals. Out of the three electrodes the red one and then it can be used. The ECG, Pulse rate monitor and
is attached in right arm, yellow one in left arm and green temperature sensors are controlled by Arduino Nano and
one in left leg. then data is sent to Raspberry Pi.
E. Temperature Sensor H. Quadcopter

TMP35 temperature sensor is used here, which has a

measuring range from 10 degrees to 125 degrees. It needs an
input voltage to work properly. It can easily measure the
temperature of the human body and the data is shown on the
LCD display.

F. Camera Module

Fig. 8. Quad copter

The quadcopter [4] is assembled using an F450 frame, four
Brushless Direct Current motors (BLDC), four Electronic
Speed Controllers (ESC), Lithium polymer battery of
2200mah, Propellers and a simulator. These are the basic
components required to run a drone completely. On these
basic structure the above mentioned components in the
frame have been added.

Further, the experimental result of this proposed system has

been discussed about.

This prototype is developed in order to alert the victim’s
condition to the doctors in the hospital and to the
paramedics in normal ambulance using microcontrollers and
microprocessors [5]. The measured parameters details will
be sent to them using quadcopter technology before the
normal ambulance arrives. The mini patient monitoring
system embedded with the quadcopter will reach the
scenario and it will measure the victim’s heart rate, ECG
values, and temperature and respiration rate. The quadcopter
will reach the accident scenario by tracking the location
using Global Positioning System (GPS). The real time
condition of the patient detail will be sent to the hospital and
to the ambulance using GSM technology [6]. The proposed
model can be used by drone companies, healthcare
companies, government organizations for attending serious
medical cases faster and improving the overall ambulance


[1] A. Nemati and M. Kumar 2014, “Modelling and control of a Single

Axis Tilting Quadcopter”, American Control Conference (ACC), June
4-6, 2014.
[2] Darshana Varma, Virendra Shete, Sunil Somani,“Real Time Self
Health Monitoring System”, International Journal of Innovative
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[3] Farin, N. , Sharif, S. and Mobin, I, “An Intelligent Sensor Based
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Control and Automation, 7, 55-62,May 2016.
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“Microcontroller Based Heart Rate Monitor”, The International Arab
Journal of Information Technology, Vol. 5, No. 4, October 2008.
[6] Vinod Ingale, Umar Mulani,“Quadcopter Controlling Using Android
Mobile Devices”, International Journal of Innovative Research in
Computer and Communication Engineering(IJIRCCE), Vol. 3, Issue
6, June 2015.