Flirtey and 7-Eleven have completed one month of store-to-home drone deliveries to a dozen homes in Reno, Nevada. According to an announcement, 77 drone deliveries were made on weekends, about 20 per weekend, and the delivery drones were flown autonomously using GPS to a local customer’s house.
The average delivery time was under 10 minutes from the time of purchase, the companies say, and the most popular items ordered through the custom app were hot food items, cold beverages and over-the-counter medicines.
We’ve reached out to Flirtey regarding the average delivery distance and how it skirted the beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) restrictions. A quick look at the video atop this page, however, seems to show a drone delivery to a customer who lives extremely close to a 7-Eleven. There’s also someone at the drop-off location, so Flirtey potentially had multiple people monitoring the delivery along the way.
We’ll update this story when we hear back from Flirtey.
Update on December 21 at 7 PM EST: Flirtey tells Robotics Trends that it secured all required authorizations for the operation. The drones were flown autonomously within line of sight, within a mile of the store. There was a Flirtey operator in the loop to take over if ever needed, but was not necessary.
It turns out Amazon Prime Air’s first drone delivery to a UK resident, which they touted only took 13 minutes, was flown from Amazon’s drone testing site near Cambridge across a field to a farmhouse just 765 yards away.
The drone delivery Flirtey shows off was also made in perfect weather conditions, of course. But to be fair, so haven’t all the other drone deliveries we’ve seen.
Flirtey and 7-Eleven hope to expand the drone delivery tests in Nevada in 2017.
“While other companies in this space are shipping jobs overseas, Flirtey’s goal is to make delivery instant, and in the process create jobs at home for hardworking Americans and veterans,” said Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeny. “This is a giant leap towards a future where everyone can experience the convenience of Flirtey’s instant store-to-door drone delivery.”
Flirtey partnered with 7-Eleven in July 2016 and made the first FAA-approved store-to-home drone delivery. The Flirtey drone autonomously delivered Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy to the home of the family who placed the order.
The delivery robot race is heating up. That’s why we’ve made delivery robots a major focus at the CES Robotics Conference, which takes place January 6, 2017 from 9 AM to 12:30 PM at CES. The “Delivery Robots Knocking at Your Door” panel will explore how drones and autonomous mobile robots are transforming home delivery and emergency medical response. Ahti Heinla of Starship Technologies, Helen Greiner of CyPhy Works and Steve Cousins of Savioke will discuss developments, the need for continued testing and how to overcome regulatory and technical challenges.
We hope to see you there!