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Medicine Delivered by Drones

Quadrocopter drone  delivering packageLook to the sky for your next prescription. Your delivery may be by drone.

A rural clinic located in Virginia is receiving its medication stocks via drone delivery. The clinic, which operates only one weekend a year and sees more than 3000 people during that time, is located deep in the backcountry of Virginia.

The medication will be delivered most of the way by a traditional manned airplane. Once they arrive at a local airport, it is projected to take 6 round trips to finish delivering a total of 10 lbs of medication.

“I think this will be a Kitty Hawk moment,” said Matthew Sweeny, head of the drone-delivery startup, Flirtey Inc.

Normally, all drone deliveries are banned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but the FAA granted special approval to Flirtey, NASA, and Virginia Tech for this trial and demonstration. The FAA is expected to release its rules of operation for drones next year. Expected to be included in the rulings are the banning of drone flights over populated areas and any flights beyond the eyesight of the drone operator.

“What we’re trying to do is not only develop the technology, but developing the public’s trust in the technology,” said Frank Jones, deputy director of NASA Langley’s Research Services Directorate.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)