UPS has begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations, in collaboration with drone-maker CyPhy Works.
The companies recently staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass. to Children’s Island, which is about three miles off the Atlantic coast. The drone flight advances an investment made by The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund in CyPhy to gather information about drone uses and capabilities.
Innovation through automation and robotics has long been a focus for the world’s largest package delivery company. UPS has been testing drones in warehouses to check high storage racks to confirm stock or available space.
The company also is exploring the use of drones to deliver humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach parts of the world.
“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.”