Amazon, Google and Walmart are still working out details with the FAA to get the right to deliver goods to your home via drone. Meanwhile, a startup, Flirtey, says its completed the first such federally-sanctioned delivery via unmanned aerial vehicle, with the help of the University of Nevada at Reno.
The autonomous, half-mile flight happened on March 10 in Hawthorne, Nev., according to a report on Fortune. The drone carried a package of emergency supplies, including a first-aid kit, food and water. The flight path, which ended up at an uninhabited house, was programmed using GPS. The package was lowered to the front porch using a rope.
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The company told Fortune that a drone pilot was on hand, just in case something went wonky. But the flight reportedly went off without a hitch.
Flirtey is the same company that delivered emergency supplies to a health clinic in Virginia last year. Because this delivery was sent to a residential area, it shows off the drone's ability to avoid power lines, roof tops, street lamps, etc.
The small company went through a lengthy approval process to get approval from the FAA, and had to agree to some restrictions, such as not operating at night and always being in sight of a human operator.
Amazon is also testing deliveries, but is doing so in Canada and Netherlands. Flirtey previous flew test deliveries in Australia and New Zealand.