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UPS Tests Drone for Commercial Delivery

September 27, 2016

Photo courtesy of UPS.
Photo courtesy of UPS.

UPS has begun testing the use of drones to deliver packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations.

Working together with drone-maker CyPhy Works, UPS began testing with a mock three-mile medicine delivery, according to UPS.

“Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “We think drones offer a great solution to deliver to hard-to-reach locations in urgent situations where other modes of transportation are not readily available.”

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new rules that expand the uses of drones in commercial applications. Operators must adhere to important safety regulations, according to UPS.

UPS said it has already been testing drones in warehouses to check high storage racks to confirm stock or available space. The company is also exploring the use of drones to deliver humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach parts of the world.

The CyPhy drone used in the test is a battery-powered drone that flies itself, and requires minimal user training, according to the company. In the mock scenario, the drone successfully carried an asthma inhaler to an island that is not accessible by automobile, according to the company.

The drone flight advances an investment made by The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund in CyPhy to gather information about drone uses and capabilities, according to the company.

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