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Aerial Bots in the Supply Chain: A New Ally to Combat COVID-19


  • Koshta, Nitin
  • Devi, Yashoda
  • Patra, Sabyasachi


The rapid global spread of COVID-19 has caused disruptions in various supply chains and people's lives. At the same time, it has paved the way for drone technology (Aerial bots). With the countries gone into lockdown for an unspecified time, it is self-evident that people will run out of food, medicine, and other essentials because of the middleman's unavailability to move products from supply to demand point. Lack of medical infrastructure and distant testing laboratories is another challenge faced by the countries, which result in a delayed testing report leading to delay in medical treatment—such critical problems arising in the fight against COVID-19 highlight the need for improving the efficiency of supply chains. Recently used for commercial purposes, drone technology has already proved its utility in inventory and logistics management. Therefore, we argue that drones could be a viable option to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chains working for humanitarian aid to combat COVID-19. Specifically, the focus is on food, administrative, and healthcare supply chains that are the core to combat the pandemic. Moreover, in this article, we highlight various present and future application areas for drone technology, which could pave the way for future research and industry applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Koshta, Nitin & Devi, Yashoda & Patra, Sabyasachi, 2021. "Aerial Bots in the Supply Chain: A New Ally to Combat COVID-19," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:teinso:v:66:y:2021:i:c:s0160791x21001214
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101646

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Samad, Sarminah & Nilashi, Mehrbakhsh & Almulihi, Ahmed & Alrizq, Mesfer & Alghamdi, Abdullah & Mohd, Saidatulakmal & Ahmadi, Hossein & Syed Azhar, Sharifah Nurlaili Farhana, 2021. "Green Supply Chain Management practices and impact on firm performance: The moderating effect of collaborative capability," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    2. Duggal, Angel Swastik & Singh, Rajesh & Gehlot, Anita & Gupta, Lovi Raj & Akram, Sheik Vaseem & Prakash, Chander & Singh, Sunpreet & Kumar, Raman, 2021. "Infrastructure, mobility and safety 4.0: Modernization in road transportation," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    3. Koppiahraj Karuppiah & Bathrinath Sankaranarayanan & Syed Mithun Ali, 2022. "Modeling Impacts of COVID-19 in Supply Chain Activities: A Grey-DEMATEL Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(21), pages 1-21, October.
    4. Yashoda Devi & Sabyasachi Patra & Surya Prakash Singh, 2022. "A location-allocation model for influenza pandemic outbreaks: A case study in India," Operations Management Research, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 487-502, June.
    5. Kedwadee Sombultawee & Pattama Lenuwat & Natdanai Aleenajitpong & Sakun Boon-itt, 2022. "COVID-19 and Supply Chain Management: A Review with Bibliometric," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(6), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Lijing Du & Xiaohuan Li & Yuan Gan & Kaijun Leng, 2022. "Optimal Model and Algorithm of Medical Materials Delivery Drone Routing Problem under Major Public Health Emergencies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(8), pages 1-17, April.

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