Package delivery giant UPS announced today that it is testing drone delivery to remote locations with MA drone maker CyPhy Works.
Thursday, the companies “staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass. to Children’s Island, which is about three miles off the Atlantic coast,” UPS and CyPhy Works announced in a statement. The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund has invested in CyPhy Works to explore the potential for drones.
“Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “We think drones offer a great solution to deliver to hard-to-reach locations in urgent situations where other modes of transportation are not readily available.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with UPS in this endeavor,” said Helen Greiner, CyPhy’s founder and chief technology officer. “Drone technology used in this way can save lives and deliver products and services to places that are difficult to reach by traditional transit infrastructures.”
CyPhy’s drone is named the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) system. The autonomous drone is battery-powered and requires minimal user training. It is built to be extremely durable and offers night vision a secure communications system.
“UPS and CyPhy flew the PARC from Beverly to Children’s Island to test the viability of using the drone to make a time-critical delivery,” says the announcement. “In the mock scenario, the drone successfully carried an asthma inhaler to a child at a camp on the island, which is not reachable by automobile.”
“UPS has a history of innovation that reaches back more than a hundred years,” Wallace said. “UPS uniformed employees remain a vital connection to our customers, but tests like these reveal a bridge to the future of customer service and urgent package delivery. We are continuously exploring ways to improve our network to efficiently support our customers’ demanding requirements.”