Zipline is partnering with Walmart for a new drone delivery operation in the US. The program is for on-demand deliveries of health and wellness products. The launch and release system allows for on-demand delivery in less than an hour.
This year was n’t the first time Zipline’s drones have been used for medical supply deliveries. In 2016, it launched the first national drone delivery system in the world to deliver blood to patients in remote areas of Rwanda.
The partnership with Walmart is the first step toward potential national-scale operations across the US. The company says it’s delivered more than 200,000 critical medical products to health facilities in multiple countries.
The pilot program with Zipline is the latest of Walmart’s moves toward wider drone use. Back in 2015 the retail giant conducted drone delivery tests, and in 2016 experimented with drones to check warehouse.
Walmart announced a small pilot program in North Carolina using automated drones from startup Flytrex to deliver’select groceries and household items’. Walmart did n’t give details about how many drones are involved in that pilot but acknowledged it would be some time before drone deliveries become more widespread.