Flirtey does urban drone delivery in US

Delivery drone startup company Flirtey has completed the first federally permitted urban drone delivery in a US urban area that had not had a human to manually manoeuvre it. This comes a week after the US Congress considered measures to regulate drone delivery within US airspace.

The half mile drone delivery flight took place in Hawthorne, NV on the 10 March. The flight path was programmed by GPS and flew an “emergency supply” to the front porch of an uninhabited house. A cargo box was lowered on a rope to the recipients while the drone hovered above.

The test was carried out with Flirtey’s partner, the University of Nevada in Reno.

Flirtey carried out the first FAA approved drone delivery in a rural area by dropping off emergency supplies to a health clinic in VA.

With pressure from private businesses such as Amazon, that is well known to be developing its own drone delivery programme, US regulators are looking closely at how to enable drone flights to deliver goods to customers. Regulation is regularly cited as being the biggest hurdle including the technological issues, as regulations in place to prevent illicit use of drones in busy airspace impedes commercial drone delivery – metropolitan New York City for instance is a virtual no go zone for drones due to its three airports. In being able to make exceptions for robotic drones that have no human input other than perhaps loading and unloading, so the drone delivery concept can move from a futuristic marketing ploy into reality.

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