For first time, drone delivers package to residential area (Update)

March 25, 2016 by Scott Sonner
In this Friday, March 25, 2016, photo provided by Flirtey, an independent drone delivery company, shows the first fully autonomous, FAA-approved urban drone delivery, a box with bottled water, emergency food and a first aid kit in a residential setting without the help of a human to manually steer it in Hawthorne, Nev. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney announced Friday the six-rotor drone flew itself about one-half mile and lowered the package outside a vacant residence in Hawthorne, about 140 miles southeast of Reno. (Flirtey via AP)

A drone has successfully delivered a package to a residential location in a small Nevada town in what its maker and the governor of the state said Friday was the first fully autonomous urban drone delivery in the U.S.

Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney said the six-rotor drone flew about a half-mile along a pre-programmed delivery route on March 10 and lowered the package outside a vacant residence in an uninhabited area of Hawthorne, southeast of Reno.

The route was established using GPS. A pilot and visual observers were on standby during the flight but weren't needed, Sweeney said.

He said the package included bottled water, food and a first-aid kit.

"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," Sweeney said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval congratulated the company "on successfully completing the nation's first fully autonomous urban package delivery."

"I am thrilled that Flirtey is not only testing its cutting-edge technology in Nevada, but also creating jobs through its headquarters relocation to Reno," Sandoval said in a statement.

NASA is working with the drone industry and the Federal Aviation Administration on a low-altitude air traffic control system to prevent crashes involving drones and other low-altitude aircraft.

In this July 17, 2015, file photo, a Flirtey drone flies above the Wise County Fairgrounds while lowering a package of prescription medication at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic in Wise County, Va. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney announced Friday, March 25, 2016, that a similar six-rotor fully autonomous, FAA-approved urban drone delivery, flew itself about one-half mile and lowered the package outside a vacant residence in Hawthorne, about 140 miles southeast of Reno, Nev. (Tim C Cox/The Bristol Herald-Courier via AP, File)

Flirtey conducted the first FAA-approved, rural drone delivery in July to a rural health care clinic in Virginia.

The Nevada delivery demonstrates that advanced drone systems allow aerial vehicles to safely navigate around buildings and deliver packages with precision within a populated area, Sweeney said.

The company recently moved its headquarters from Australia to Nevada. It said the recent delivery was filmed for an upcoming ABC-TV documentary.

Hawthorne, a town of about 3,000 residents, is the home of the Hawthorne Army Depot.

Flirtey has been conducting research and development through a partnership with the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nevada is one of six states the FAA has designated as unmanned aircraft systems test sites.

"This was by far one of the most successful (unmanned aircraft systems) operations we ran and represents an advanced level of test and development ... by Flirtey," said Chris Walach, director of operations for the FAA-designated Nevada site.

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16 comments

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FineStructureConstant
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2016
This is not newsworthy - it's just fluff publicizing an "applied smarty-pants", "look what i can do, mom" technology which we do not need, do not want, and which is potentially VERY risky.

What happens when one of these beasts tries to deliver its' package and hits an obstruction (tree, pole, new house, etc.)? What happens when it drops out of the sky due to an "unforeseen glitch" in its' software and kills somebody? What happens when two or more of them collide in mid-air? What happens when one of them strikes a passenger airliner, brings it down and kills hundreds?

So many questions regarding so many safety issues, ALL of which are well-known to the companies trying to promote this, and other, technological "advances" (like drive-themselves cars) in so-called "AI", designed to make our lives sooooo much more fun!

But these companies don't want you to be aware of the risks, and play them down. The bottom line for these companies IS the bottom line - never forget it.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Mar 26, 2016
" technology which we do not need, do not want, and which is potentially VERY risky."

I dunno. If one looks at the contents of what was delivered a scenario for supplying hard to reach places after natural catastrophes presents itself.

Especially for the diasbled or elderly in suburbs (who have no easy access to a wide range of shopping opportunities) this might also be a very good thing.

Autonomous delivery of products will come eventually (in whatever form). If the drones are overdesigned to be stable even if one rotor fails (and hardened against mischief) then I see little problems here with adequate limitations (e.g.limiting their operation to a certain time of day)
FineStructureConstant
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2016
If one looks at the contents of what was delivered a scenario for supplying hard to reach places after natural catastrophes presents itself. ... Especially for the disabled or elderly in suburbs (who have no easy access to a wide range of shopping opportunities) this might also be a very good thing.
Agreed, these things could be potentially very useful in such scenarios. It's the blanket "let us deliver all your stuff with these little beauties" with its' attendant safety risks that I'm not comfortable with.

The Autonomous Auto thing I also find really insane! Big corporations employing experts in "Artificial Intelligence" (a misnomer if ever there was one in this computer "steam age") to come up with even more ways to invent and stuff new product down our throats. We simply do not need this crap!
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2016
It's the blanket "let us deliver all your stuff with these little beauties" with its' attendant safety risks that I'm not comfortable with
@FSC
but without this "let us deliver all your stuff with these little beauties" we can't test the feasibility or practicality of the tech, right?

yeah, there are ways of checking whether it will be cost effective or not, but IMHO- this will also help work out bugs, glitches, rules and laws governing the tech use and more

kinda like mining in space: sure, it sounds cool, but we likely will not really address the nitty-gritty details until someone starts using it
OR
kinda like cars and airplanes and how they caught on while zepplins, motorized skateboards and delivery by roller-skates finally died out
HeloMenelo
not rated yet Mar 26, 2016
Yes delivery by sky is the future, those who are not in favor for it will have to live with it and fully ebrace it, for when the system get's near perfected, it will be a revolution that will change the way we do things on a daily basis, big steps have already been taken, bigger steps are planned not far from now, i for one can't wait
HeloMenelo
not rated yet Mar 26, 2016
I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... w­w­w.e­a­r­n­m­o­r­e­9.c­o­m


No, you are making $0k a month, likely posting spam crap on a good site
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2016
with its' attendant safety risks that I'm not comfortable with.

Which safety risks would that be? As opposed to the safety risks of delivery trucks being on roads (which would then no longer be neede...or at the very least reduced by only being used when there are big/heavy items to carry)?

Big corporations employing experts in "Artificial Intelligence" (a misnomer if ever there was one in this computer "steam age") to come up with even more ways to invent and stuff new product down our throats.

How are you forced to buy products by this? The only thing it does make delivery -and by extension the product you buy- cheaper. It also frees you of the dependence of when they want to deliver. rather with these drones you can cjoose when to have stuff delivered.
...which I, for one, would find incredibly neat. Currently I never have time when they do so I always have to travel to central depots or take a day off if I want something delivered.
PhysicsMatter
not rated yet Mar 27, 2016
Such small drones are very prone to failure. technical, weather and Insurance companies will put stop to that soon.

Wide use of such a small drones in wars showed that they are very vulnerable to any kind of interference including civilian GPS spoofing, so you can "tractor beam" a package empty it put a small stone small in to the drone and let it go on its way to delivery.

There are uses for small drones it is not one of them.
HTK
not rated yet Mar 27, 2016
wish they could speed this up!

this is the next best thing before teleportation!
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2016
Such small drones are very prone to failure. technical, weather and Insurance companies will put stop to that soon.

Wide use of such a small drones in wars showed that they are very vulnerable to any kind of interference including civilian GPS spoofing, so you can "tractor beam" a package empty it put a small stone small in to the drone and let it go on its way to delivery.
don't forget to add that in a lot of areas they shoot at drones

http://blogs.lawy...n-drone/
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2016
"don't forget to add that in a lot of areas they shoot at drones"
------------------------------

Those ignorant goobers shoot at everything.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2016
Those ignorant goobers shoot at everything.
@liar-kam the idiot boy
some of those "goobers" are leading the nation
OKLAHOMA CITY — An infamous fundraiser that involves shooting pigeons has taken down another flying object.

A drone that was being used to record U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe's pigeon fundraiser was grounded Saturday.

The annual fundraiser earns money for the senator as guests shoot at tame, banded pigeons as they're thrown into the air.

Showing Animals Respect and Kindness is an animal rights group that secretly filmed the fundraiser for Senator Jim Inhofe last year.

This year, the group said they tried to use a drone to record the event Friday night in Greer County, but they reported the drone was shot down.
http://kfor.com/2...draiser/

that senator and his cronies were the same cut of jib you are, gkam...
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2016
"some of those "goobers" are leading the nation"
-----------------------------------

No they are not. They are obstructing the nation, with their arrogance and selfishness, thinking they should get everything they want. They got fooled,suckered by the collection of Republicans from multi-trillion-dollar-debt Reagan , when the entire 200-year-old National Debt was less then one trillion dollars right down to the Bush Crime Family who put us int a debt so large we will never be free of the Bush Big Business landlords who own us.

But there is good news:

http://www.thegua...petition

"Petition to allow guns at Republican convention earns 24,000 signatures "

This is a self-solving problem! I encourage it, with locked doors and plenty of ammo.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2016
No they are not. They are obstructing the nation, with their arrogance and selfishness, thinking they should get everything they want
@liar-kam
so none of the senators or congress are leading the nation?
wow... i didn't know that

so... who is?
does the POTUS make all the laws and enact them?
is he a solo act?
LMFAO

the rest of your post is simple trolling and baiting, so i just reported it, ok?
thanks!

LMFAO
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2016
Such small drones are very prone to failure.

Really? That's news to me. The six (as depicted) or eight rotor kind can keep functioning even if one (or two non adjacent) rotors fail. The motors of such rotors are so simple that failure of one is incredibly rare. I've never heard of two failing at the same time.

The electronics are also very simple. There's no aerodynamic calculation involved at all. And it would not be hard to have them not fly if weather conditions don't permit (seeing as the ranges of these are in the 10-20 minutes flight time that is well within capabilities of weather forecasts)

GPS spoofing is an issue, sure. But there are ways around this (e.g. personalizing drop off zones. So you'd tractor them but can't get them to land. Or just using multiple GPS types (GLONASS, Galileo once it's up and running). Then spoofing becomes much harder.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2016
I've never heard of two failing at the same time
Which makes one wonder where one might routinely apprise oneself of such data?

Megastructures are being built all over the world which will house whole communities.
http://www.indepe...061.html

"According to Architectural Digest, the tower will have "multilevel sky lobbies where residents would share amenities such as shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, gyms, libraries, and health clinics."

-Drone delivery to distribution points may be easier that carting things up and down elevators.

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