Flirtey’s drones are making routine deliveries

Flirtey drone
Flirtey’s drone makes a delivery for 7-Eleven. (Flirtey Photo)

In the race to make routine commercial deliveries via drone, Flirtey is going where Amazon hasn’t yet ventured: the United States.

Today, the three-year-old Nevada-based startup reported that its autonomous drones made regular weekend deliveries of food and other convenience-store products for a 7-Eleven store during November.

The pilot project involved a dozen customers in Reno – which happens to be the headquarters for Flirty and for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems’ drone test range at Reno-Stead Airport.

Seventy-seven deliveries in all were made, using a smartphone-style app, Flirtey said in a news release.

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Flirtey makes a milestone urban drone delivery

Image: Flirtey drone
Flirtey’s hexacopter hovers over Nevada during a drone delivery test. (Credit: Flirtey)

A startup named Flirtey says it’s executed the first FAA-approved urban drone delivery in the United States, in a test that could blaze a trail for Amazon and other companies that want to do the same thing.

The GPS-guided drop-off to an unoccupied house took place on March 10 in Hawthorne, Nev. The package of supplies, including bottled water, emergency food supply and a first-aid kit, was lowered by a rope to the house’s front porch from a hovering hexacopter. A drone pilot and several visual observers were on standby in case something went wrong, but they weren’t needed, the company said.

“Conducting the first drone delivery in an urban setting is a major achievement, taking us closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep,” Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny said today in a news release about the test.

Flirtey has already used drones to deliver textbooks in Australia and auto parts inNew Zealand, but its grand plan is to crack the market in the United States. That’s why it’s been participating in limited tests sanctioned by the Federal Aviation Administration at specified sites. Last July, Flirtey conducted a similar test for rural drone delivery in Virginia.

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