Drones aren’t just for weekend casual fliers who want to photograph the skies and annoy their neighbours: they’re also perfect for medical applications in remote areas, where medical attention is hard to come by.

Startup Vayu’s drone has been designed to ship blood and stool samples to hospitals in Madagascar, to help residents get attention exactly when they need it.

They could also be used to send back vaccines, medicines and other supplies to these remote locations around the world, giving drones a much more useful job than just fun.

The Vayu drone can carry up to 2kg of medical supplies up to 40 miles before running out of juice and its ability to take off and land vertically has been designed specifically for tricky terrain.

It features four ducted fans to launch, after which two rear propulsion fans take over, pointing away from the ground and towards the rear of the aircraft, to help it move forwards. It needs a space no bigger than your average car to take off, making it perfect for locations that have little free ground.

The Courier UAV isn’t just a drone with a compartment for storing things on a flight, it also features cameras that will be able to survey an area using infrared technology to find people in a deserted area, for example.

There are also sensors onboard that can collect samples for scientists, including measuring air quality, earthquake damage or collecting data about thermal winds.

American company Vayu worked with Stony Brook University Global Health Institute, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and local governments to make the medical shipping device a reality.