UPS testing drones for emergency medical supply deliveries

United Parcel Service is testing the use of drones to deliver medical supplies to remote locations during emergency situations, reported Reuters.

CyPhy — a Danvers, Mass.-based drone developer that UPS owns a stake in — conducted a test flight Thursday in Massachusetts. A drone, painted brown and adorned with the UPS logo, delivered a small package from Beverly to Children's Island, located about three miles off the state's coast. The drone made the trip in about eight minutes.

"This demonstrates a drone is the best and most efficient way to deliver a package in a medical emergency in a remote location," Helen Greiner, founder and chief technology officer of CyPhy, told Reuters.

Despite the successful test flight, new regulatory guidelines stand in the way of bringing the drone delivery service to customers. The Federal Aviation Administration released a rule last month restricting drones to be flown within the line of sight of its operator.

UPS hopes to convince the FAA to let the company expand its drone testing, said Mark Wallace, senior vice president of global engineering of UPS.

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