Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

UPS just test-delivered life-saving medicine with a drone

Author:

UPS has started testing drones for urgent deliveries.

UPS says it started Thursday. On the first day of testing, the company practiced making an urgent medicine delivery from Beverly, Massachusetts, to Children’s Island, which is about 3 miles off the Atlantic coast.

In the mock delivery, the drone successfully brought an asthma inhaler to a child at a camp on the island.

“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," Mark Wallace, one of UPS' senior vice presidents, said in a statement.

UPS says it might also be able to use drones to deliver aid to parts of the world that aren't easy to get to. Starting next month, the company said it will test out bringing medical supplies to Rwanda.

According to the news release, the world’s largest package delivery company has already been testing drones inside warehouses. They've been used to check some of the higher-up storage racks to check stock or see if there's extra space.

About the drone

UPS has been working with the drone-maker CyPhy Works.

The drone used in Thursday's simulation is battery-powered and flies itself.

According to the news release, the drone is "extremely durable" and has night vision.

Helen Grenier – CyPhy Works' chief technology officer – told USA Today the 42-inch drone can carry 5 pounds. And it traveled at 22 mph during Thursday's test.

Other companies are testing out drones too. Amazon is looking into using them for faster delivery services, and Walmart is testing them in warehouses to manage inventory.

There are still some drone safety rules and regulations that need to be worked out with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before drone deliveries can become a regular thing, though.

Even so, UPS projects the commercial drone industry will generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy in the next 10 years.

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.

Related

UPS just test-delivered life-saving medicine with a drone

In a mock delivery, UPS used a drone to bring an inhaler to a kid on an island.

Well, Amazon just delivered its first ever package by drone

The contents of the delivered are rather, well, underwhelming.