In the age of coronavirus: delivery by drone

Someone gets injured whilst mountain-biking. Medicines and blood bags require delivery to remote regions. The birthday cake is burned and an urgent replacement is needed. The coffee has run out. The strap for the horse’s bridle is torn. In situations like these, delivery services are promising drone-delivered solutions with increasing frequency, and not just in sparsely populated areas either. Supply bottlenecks and social distancing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have led to drone delivery services coming back into focus. The company Zipline in Rwanda, for example, has delivered thousands of bags of blood and plasma to the country’s hospitals since 2016, supplying blood to the patients in the East African country with unprecedented speed and efficiency. In Australia, the Wing drones from Google have been in a field trial in Canberra for one year now. Customers can also use an app to order fresh bread, hot coffee and other household goods, avoiding unnecessary travel and helping local companies that face falling revenues.

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