Drone completes first successful urban delivery

By Daniel Uria  |  March 26, 2016 at 2:13 PM
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HAWTHORNE, Nev., March 26 (UPI) -- Drone startup Flirtey announced it successfully completed the first aerial package delivery in an urban setting.

The company shared a photo on Twitter of its drone in the sky while completing the delivery in Hawthorne, Nevada.

"[Flirtey] successfully completed the first fully autonomous FAA-approved urban drone delivery in the US," they wrote.

The hexacopter drone carried a cardboard box attached to string with food, water and a first aid kit. It flew without any human assistance although a pilot was on standby as it delivered the package to an empty house.

Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeney said he chose the small town of Hawthorne because it contained several elements needed to test the drone's capabilities in an "urban" setting

"Hawthorne is a town with ideal characteristics for us, because you've got residential housing lots that have trees, power lines, that are perfect for research and testing precision delivery," he told Popular Science.

Sweeney said he is optimistic about the viability of drone delivery, as 86 percent of packages are 5.5 pounds or less. Flirtey's drones are designed to carry objects that size as far as 10 miles.

"I think the regulations are moving at a faster pace than many people are realizing," he said. "We are rapidly approaching a time where drone delivery is a reality, not just in the United States but around the world."

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