Air & Space Smithsonian - - In The Museum -

Flirtey, a small Aus­tralian startup, has sent drones to take text­books to stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Syd­ney. Part­ner­ing with text­book rental com­pany Zookal, Flirtey con­ducted more than 100 test flights on the Univer­sity of Syd­ney cam­pus last year.

Us­ing GPS co­or­di­nates sent from a smart­phone app, the Flirtey drone hov­ered over the tar­get site and low­ered a text­book by ca­ble to a wait­ing stu­dent. (A hu­man pi­lot ver­i­fied that the de­liv­ery lo­ca­tion was safe; the cus­tomer then sent a com­mand from his smart­phone to lower the pack­age.)

Launched in Syd­ney in 2013, Flirtey is now based at the Univer­sity of Ne­vada at Reno. In March, the com­pany com­pleted tri­als in New Zealand, de­liv­er­ing emer­gency med­i­cal sup­plies by drone in part­ner­ship with LANDSAR, a vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides land search-and-res­cue ser­vices to the New Zealand pub­lic and po­lice.

In an Faa-sanc­tioned trial, Flirtey, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with NASA and Virginia Tech, was sched­uled to de­liver med­i­ca­tions via drone to a free med­i­cal clinic in West Virginia on July 17.

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