The drone, painted UPS-brown and carrying a small package, flew from from coastal Beverly, Mass. to Children’s Island in just eight minutes, a three-mile journey that takes half an hour by boat. The test across open water to the site of a children’s YMCA camp was one of the first forays into how drones could be used to quickly deliver emergency supplies to rural and hard-to-reach areas.
Thursday’s test flight was orchestrated by delivery service United Parcel Service and robotmaker CyPhy Works, who have partnered to test emergency drone delivery options in hopes that federal regulations could one day be expanded to allow drones to fly distances beyond the sight of their operators.
But despite claims by online retail giant Amazon, which has been testing drones as a way to deliver orders to customers, UPS and CyPhy engineers do not think that drones are going to replace standard delivery trucks any time soon. READ MORE.