Walmart, in a partnership with Zipline, will be using drones to deliver health and wellness products in the US.
The first trials will begin next year near Bentonville, Arkansas, which is where Walmart’s headquarters are located.
Thanks to Zipline’s launch and release system, one of these products can be delivered within 60 minutes in a 50-mile radius of a Walmart store.
At the beginning of 2020, Zipline announced its partnership with a hospital system in North Carolina that revolves around contactless delivery of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
However, Zipline’s drones are no strangers to performing medical supply deliveries like this.
In 2016, the company launched a national drone delivery system in Rwanda that was used for the delivery of blood to patients situated in remote areas.
Zipline says that it has performed the delivery of more than 200,000 critical medical products to health facilities situated in different countries.
Now that the company has established a partnership with Walmart, it is hoping to conduct national-scale operations across the US.
Walmart is eyeing a wider use of drones, and the partnership between the two companies attests to that.
Walmart first dabbled in drone deliveries in 2015, and in 2016 the company played around with the idea of using drones for the purposes of checking warehouse inventory.
Fast forward to last week, and Walmart announced that it will be using automated drones from start-up Flytrex to deliver select groceries and household items, a programme that is currently in the pilot stage.
On a related note, Amazon also happens to be focusing its efforts on drone deliveries, so we are in for an exciting race between the two giants to see which one will end up making the quickest inroads.