SANDY SPRINGS (dpa-AFX) - United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) has started to test the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations.
On Thursday, the package delivery giant and drone-maker CyPhy Works staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Massachusetts to Children's Island, which is about three miles off the Atlantic coast. UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund owns a stake in CyPhy.
UPS and CyPhy flew the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications or PARC system from Beverly to Children's Island to test the viability of using the drone to make a time-critical delivery.
In the mock scenario, the battery-powered drone successfully carried an asthma inhaler to a child at a summer camp on the island, which is not reachable by automobile. The drone has night vision and features secure communications that cannot be intercepted or disrupted.
Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability said, 'Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers. 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.'
In August, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or FAA issued new rules that expanded the uses of drones in commercial applications.
UPS has been testing drones in warehouses to check high storage racks to confirm stock or available space. The company also is exploring the use of drones to deliver humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach parts of the world.
In May, UPS Foundation, the charitable division of UPS, said it partnered with Zipline, a California-based robotics company, and Gavi, a distributor of vaccines, to deliver life-saving medicines and blood in Rwanda using drones.
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