There are many companies all over the world that have evaluated the feasibility of deliveries with Drones and found it to be a very practical way of sending things to remote villages and extremely crowded metropolis. The latest addition to the every growing list of early adopters of these parcelcopter’s is an Australian startup called Flirtey.
Flirtey’s drone has a hexagon design, and is made using a lot of 3d printed parts. The company’s Drone design is so robust that is has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin make deliveries in the United States. According to a press release by the company FAA has given approval to Flirtey to fly its drones to deliver pharmaceuticals to a free medical clinic in West Virginia.
If you are thinking what does FAA has to do in Australia, be informed that the American association is responsible to audit Australian aerospace and in return maintains its US category one rating.
The medical deliveries will begin from 17th July and the initiative is a joint collaboration between Nasa, Virginia Tech and Flirtey. They have code named it as ‘Let’s Fly Wisely‘event. For the event the Drone will deliver 24 packages of prescription medication that weigh a total of ten pounds.
Talking about the custom-designed hexacopter those Flirtey representatives said that the drone has a flying range of more than 10 miles, from a central location. The drone itself is made out of carbon fiber, aluminum and some select 3D printed components. Once at the location of the delivery the drone lowers the parcel with a tethered line, and returns using the GPS footprint of its flight. For the safety of the Drone there is an onboard minicomputer that monitors the battery usage and tracks its GPS signals.
CEO of Flirtey, Matt Sweeny said that “This is a Kitty Hawk moment not just for Flirtey, but for the entire industry. Proving that unmanned aircraft can deliver life-saving medicines is an important step toward a future where unmanned aircraft make routine autonomous deliveries of your everyday purchases.”
This approval from FAA for the delivery of medical supplies is seen as the beginning of an array of companies using the service to deliver a wide range of products. However if we look at the recent history of the use of drones for delivering illegal contraband’s and Prison smuggling, it certainly has to be approved under extreme caution.