Up and coming startup Flirtey recently completed an unprecedented drone delivery of medical supplies to the New Jersey coast. The startup, which intends to make drone deliveries an everyday part of our daily lives, was demonstrating the potential applications of drone delivery. The ability to deliver medicine by drone can help ensure that much needed supplies can be delivered to difficult to reach zones – like refugee camps or understaffed medical centers. Included in Flirtey’s test delivery were insulin, purification tablets, and a first aid kit – demonstrating some of the potential utilities of drone deliveries.
Recent publicity for drones has been primarily negative, focusing on their military application and the reduced accountability implicit in using drones. However, drones are very clearly becoming a more regular feature of our delivery infrastructure. Indeed, government officials have begun to put into place measures to ensure the regulation of this growing industry.
Flirtey intends to use its drones for various applications. While the recent demonstration was geared towards the humanitarian potential of “ship to shore” drone deliveries, Flirtey is also keen to use drones for commercial processes. Whether this will be workable with new the new regulations created by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) remains to be seen. Nonetheless the co-founder of Flirtey, Matt Sweeney, remained confident. He noted that ““Ship to shore drone delivery fills a humanitarian need, but is also something that commercial shippers want. We think the next major step for the industry is to do commercial drone delivery to a customer’s home.” Amazon has already begun thinking about how to employ drones in normal delivery routes, but startups like Flirtey seem to be the furthest ahead in actual implementation.