Virginia Beach-based company tests drone delivery of critical care items

Posted at 11:50 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 17:39:05-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - DroneUp, a Virginia Beach-based company established in 2017, contracts out pilots to do everything from 3D mapping, inspections and analysis.

"We are basically the Uber for all drones across the United States," said CIO Joe Fuller.

But earlier this month, 45 pilots took flight to test something many feel is the way of the future: Drone deliveries.

"With people in quarantine, federal and state officials started inquiring among our industry if drones could be helpful in these situations," Fuller explained.

A high-tech hovering solution, the DroneUp team set up to find out.

"We went to Lawrenceville, Virginia, for a three-day simulation at an abandoned college that was really just like a small city - the perfect setting," said Fuller.

Along with UPS and the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, they tested drone drop-offs.

"We did 1- to 2 -pound pay loads, sand, medicine bottles, basically simulating test kits or medicines," Fuller said.

Related: Tech company works to get its drones to health care providers fighting pandemic

Maneuvering through power lines, wind and trees, Fuller said they attempted 103 drop-offs in a five-foot circle. Fuller says 100 were successful.

"The pilots really rose to the challenge; it was wildly successful," said Fuller.

Testing that could soon take to the air to help those on the front lines or those in need of critical care on the ground.

"The jury is still out; we are still learning the sweet spot for delivery, but we think there is a place for drones," said Fuller.

To learn more about DroneUP, click here.

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