Today in the New Haven Register a reporter writes about ordering a sandwich by drone in New Haven, Connecticut. The drone delivery service, Kiki Air, was started by a Yale student. Here are some of the highlights of that story.
Kiki Air, a Delivery by Drone service started by a Yale student has partnered with four local establishments in New Haven to deliver sandwiches coffee, pastries, and snacks by drone. On the Apple App store, Kiki Air promises that:
We’re excited to have now partnered with Olmo and the Jitterbus to fly you bagels, coffee beans, and pastries along with our usual tasty snacks and candy! Our deliveries are the world’s most contact-free – all our packages are sterilized and you’ll never come in contact with another human! Give us a try— download Kiki Air and be one of the first people in human history to receive a drone delivery. The future is now!
Last week Derek Turner tried out the drone delivery service and writes for the New Haven Register that:
I ordered a sandwich by drone in New Haven. Here’s how it went. On Wednesday afternoon I borrowed my girlfriend’s iPhone, ordered a Reuben from one of my favorite sandwich places in New Haven, Meat & Co. and waited — not long. About 10 minutes later I got a call: “Hi, did you order a Reuben from Meat & Co.? We’re about to take off. We’ll be there in about 30 seconds.” Just like that, I was looking at the bright blue sky, with a few fair weather clouds hanging around, as I heard the buzzing of a drone overhead. Still on the phone, I became an air-traffic controller. I was standing in my driveway, but the camera on the drone can’t see people. The pilot told me it is a privacy feature. So I directed over the phone as close to overhead as possible, before I was told “Ok, we’re going to release the package.” From about 50 feet, my sandwich wrapped in two layers of paper and stuffed in a Teal padded envelope wrapped in string came tumbling out of the sky, crashing onto my driveway. I thanked the pilot, picked up my lunch and went inside. My unwrapped sandwich had one glaring issue: It was cold.
During the coronavirus pandemic, when people are instructed to stay home and stay safe, it makes sense to explore how drones can be used to deliver products. Delivering hot sandwiches or coffee on a cold day by drone may not be the best option, but delivering masks, medication, test kits or vaccines would probably work just fine. Currently, Zipline is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to explore if their medical drone delivery services can be fast-tracked so that during the COVID-19 pandemic medical supplies can be delivered safely and quickly to people by drone.
Graphics: Kiki Air