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The Silicon Valley-based company Matternet has conducted trials in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, and Bhutan for delivering humanitarian aid. “Imagine Mother Teresa meets ‘ The Jetsons’ ” is how company co- founder Paola Santana described the trials at a meeting of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International last July.
Most recently, Matternet has partnered with Swiss Post and Swiss Worldcargo; the trio will test small package delivery this summer in Switzerland, using multiple Matternet ONE drones. The drones can carry a two-pound package up to 12 miles on a single battery charge. Matternet has ambitious goals, which company co-founder Andreas Raptopoulos outlined in a 2013 TED talk: The company will provide customers with the vehicles themselves (about $5,000 each) and wants to set up automated ground systems, as well as design an operating system that would manage the entire network.