Drones these days mostly deliver packages from online retail stores. Whatever it is, from watches, computer parts, or even just home groceries for the lazy shopper. A drone can come and deliver it to your doorstep for your absolute convenience.
We however, have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to drones’ delivery capabilities. After all, a pizza delivery arriving 15 minutes after you ordered may sound great. But drones can deliver so much more. They can deliver far more important packages.
The drone delivery company Zipline unveiled their new delivery drone. This UAV expects to do 500 deliveries per day. As grandiose as that sounds, they have done test flights already so this may not be an exaggerated number.
Currently, Zipline offers blood delivery in the East African country of Rwanda. Like similar delivery drones, this one can only carry so much. It records to carry up to 1.75 kilograms of cargo. While this does limit its options, it still can be significant in carrying medical supplies.
The drone looks and flies like a small airplane. But do not be fooled by its large wings and long body. It has an accuracy that can match similar delivery drones, being able to land at a target “the size of two parking spaces.” The drone has a 10 meter wing span, meaning it can fly farther than your average drone of quad-copter design.
For speed, it is superior. Since the name of the game is arriving to its destination the quickest, this drone is built for speed. It has a top speed of 128 kilometers per hour and its travel distance can reach 160 kilometers (round trip).
Medical supplies such as blood transfusions (and far more important organ deliveries) can now arrive at a faster timeframe. In a line of work where speed means life and slowness can mean death, this is an important upgrade.
Zipline now looks to bring this delivery service from Rwanda to the United States. It has applied for trials and tests in US soil. These are all necessary steps if they want to make an impact in the Western World. In a country that already has drone delivery services, they need to stand out.