Technology Walgreens, Google affiliate to test drone deliveries
Alphabet’s Wing Plans Drone Drug-Store Deliveries Within a Month
One of the nation’s largest drug store chains and a shipping service giant are joining forces, with Alphabet Inc.’s Wing to begin a first-of-its-kind drone delivery service in October. Walgreens, FedEx Corp. and Wing, an offshoot of Google that was the first U.S. drone operator to receive partial certification as an airline, will begin the exploratory deliveries in the small town of Christiansburg, Virginia, the companies said in an announcement Thursday.The companies aim to go beyond the small-scale delivery demonstrations that have occurred so far in the U.S.
Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put drugstore products on customer doorsteps minutes after being ordered.
Snacks like Goldfish Crackers or gummi bears as well as aspirin for sick kids will be delivered starting next month in Christiansburg, Virginia, by a 10-pound drone flying as fast as 70 miles per hour, the companies said Thursday.
Customers will be able to order from a list of more than 100 items that includes consumer goods and cough and cold remedies but not prescriptions.
The drone will be run by Wing Aviation LLC, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc.
Google announced in April that Wing received federal approval to make commercial drone deliveries. It marked the first time a company has gotten a federal drone delivery certification.
Innovations (balloons, HAPS, drones ...), the satellite is it in danger of death?
Is the satellite a "machine" destined to disappear? The question arises with the coming of age of a new generation of non-space systems such as Google Balloon (Loon) and High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) pseudolite of Airbus Defense & Space (Zephyr ). Other projects are being developed such as the Thales Alenia Space (TAS) with its StratoBus airship ... Not to mention drones of all kinds who already sting missions to satellites.
New entrants such as the famous GAFA like Google are interested in these low-cost products, which are much cheaper than a telecom satellite, whose average price is 300 million euros.
However, this industry does not fear the arrival of these products.
"The stratospheric airship, because its scope is regional, is a perfect complement to the satellite," explained the boss of the StratoBus program, Jean-Philippe Chessel.
Why? An observation satellite surveys the whole Earth with a period of revisit that depends on its orbit and its performance whereas a stratospheric platform or a HAPS will be satisfied to observe in a quasi-permanent way a limited large area like a French region .
Should the satellite industry also fear the development of orbital infrastructure platforms, such as Space Tugs, that could repair or replace faulty components on a satellite? Possible ... Pre-projects exist.
"We know pretty much how we should do, we say, it's a real break from the model that could happen in the next 15 years." But operators are still very cautious about such innovations.
Startups, a real threat of the
satellite industry Finally, what worries the satellite industry the most is the startups that come with very competitive products developed from commercial components. They are free from the rules and specifications imposed by space agencies.
"These rules cost a fortune and the price of a satellite per kilo is more expensive than a Rolex watch", plays a very good connoisseur of the satellite industry.
Moreover, if Sodern won a very good contract with the startup OneWeb for the supply of 1,800 star viewers to equip the 900 satellites of the OneWeb constellation, it is because this French subsidiary of Airbus Defense and Space was able to divide its price from 50 to 100. For this, it has developed a low cost product from "public components", observes its CEO Franck Poirrier. This program represents for Sodern "a real change of industrial paradigm".
UPS drone delivers medicine from CVS straight to customers' homes .
The flights were early tests of what could become a new way of shipping everything from prescriptions to shampoo.Just two weeks after unveiling a new partnership to explore drone shipments, UPS and CVS announced Tuesday that they completed the first commercial medical prescription drone delivery in the US under a Federal Aviation Administration-approved program.
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