Drone delivery startup Flytrex has launched a service to provide food, medicine and other essential goods via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The service was started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many states in the U.S. to shelter in place and observe social distancing. The program mirrors a project established by UPS to determine how UAVs can assist medical professionals in order to accelerate the pace of testing and for the treatment of infected patients.
While drone delivery is considered a key to fighting future pandemics, companies are also looking to help fight the current pandemic. Flytrex is working with the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial System Test Site (NPUASTS) where drones will take off across the street from a local shopping supercenter. During the pilot program, deliveries will be offered to a select number of area household that have opted-in to the service.
“In this time of crisis and social distancing, drones provide the ideal solution to bolster delivery capacity while keeping citizens safe at home,” said Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash. “UAVs offer safe, swift and efficient delivery of much needed goods with no risk of unnecessary human contact for consumers. We hope this initiative will alleviate hardships for as many of the people of Grand Forks as possible and help keep them safe and provided for.”
Flytrex said it is working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority to meet safety standards and regulations and the deployment of UAVs will help to limit exposure to the coronavirus by limiting the number of hands that touch food, medicine and other goods.