These Drones Are Already Starting to Deliver Medicine, Books, and Pizza..

An interesting article about drones appeared on Wired today. Practical applications are being researched, here are some of them:

DHL PARCELCOPTER

THE NORTH SEA

Payload: Medicines like painkillers or anticoagulants
Method: Automated (but a pilot monitors the flight)
Status: A local ferry service makes daily runs to the island of Juist, but the drone is for urgent orders; the flight takes a mere 17 minutes.

Max payload: 2.6 pounds // Max range: 7.5 miles

Max payload: 2.6 pounds // Max range: 7.5 miles

 

COPTER EXPRESS OCTOCOPTER

SYKTYVKAR, RUSSIA

Payload: Pizza
Method: Preprogrammed via GPS and equipped with cameras monitored from the pizza shop; the pie is dropped down to the customer on a cable.
Status: If you're in Syktyvkar, just call Dodo Pizza and order Одну большую пиццу пожалуйста.

Max payload: 6.6 pounds // Max range: 1.7 miles

Max payload: 6.6 pounds // Max range: 1.7 miles

 

MATTERNET QUADCOPTER

BHUTAN

Payload: Antibiotics from the hospital in the Himalayan capital of Thimphu, at 7,710 feet above sea level, up to a remote mountain health clinic
Method: Automated (after operators program in the destination).
Status: Tests ran in August 2014, and a rollout is planned for 2015.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Payload: Saliva samples for tuberculosis testing, from Malalaua to the Kerema hospital; the drone shortens what can be a days-long overland trip to one hour.
Method: Automated
Status: Tests ran in September 2014 in anticipation of a 2015 rollout.

Max payload: 2.2 pounds // Max range: 17.4 miles

Max payload: 2.2 pounds // Max range: 17.4 miles

GOOGLE X SELF-FLYING VEHICLE

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

Payload: Dog treats, cattle vaccines, and a first-aid kit for farmers
Method: Will be preprogrammed; once in position, it lowers the package on a line and a bundle of sensors detect when the package has hit the ground.
Status: It's still in the research stages.

Test payload: 2.6 pounds // Test range: 7.5 miles

Test payload: 2.6 pounds // Test range: 7.5 miles

FLIRTEY HEXACOPTER

SYDNEY

Payload: Physics and law textbooks to University of Sydney students
Method: Automated
Status: More testing is ongoing at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Max payload: 5.5 pounds // Max range: 10 miles

Max payload: 5.5 pounds // Max range: 10 miles