Amazon makes first drone delivery: 4 other deliveries by unmanned aerial vehicles

Global e-commerce company Amazon on Wednesday (Dec 14) announced its first successful delivery by drone.
Global e-commerce company Amazon on Wednesday (Dec 14) announced its first successful delivery by drone.PHOTO: AMAZON
Amazon makes its first delivery to a customer in Cambridge, England.

Global e-commerce company Amazon on Wednesday (Dec 14) announced its first successful delivery by drone.

A quadcopter drone delivered an Amazon Fire TV box and a bag of popcorn to a customer near Cambridge, England.

With drone delivery, the sky is no longer the limit, but Amazon is not the only one doing drone delivery tests.

Google parent Alphabet has a similar project known as Wing and US retail giant Wal-Mart has been reportedly studying drone deliveries too.

In Singapore, the National University of Singapore and Airbus Helicopters announced in February that they were working on a trial network for parcel deliveries across campus by drone.

Here are other instances of delivery by drone.

1. A letter and shirt to Pulau Ubin


SingPost delivered a letter and a T-shirt in a parcel by drone from Lorong Halus to Pulau Ubin. PHOTO: SINGPOST

In October 2015, SingPost delivered a letter and a T-shirt in a parcel by drone from Lorong Halus to Pulau Ubin.

The 2km delivery took about five minutes.

Similar trials had been run in other countries such as Germany and Switzerland, but SingPost said then that its trial was "the first time in the world a postal service has successfully used an unmanned aerial vehicle for point-to-point recipient-authenticated mail delivery".

The drone was developed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and built using the Pixhawk Steadidrone platform by IDA Labs.

2. Pizza delivery in New Zealand


In November, New Zealand pulled off a pizza delivery by drone. PHOTO: AFP

In November, New Zealand pulled off a pizza delivery by drone.

Fast food giant Domino's delivered two pizzas using an unmanned aerial vehicle to a customer at Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland, on Nov 17.

It rolled out pizza delivery by drone to select customers in the area before expanding it to other places in New Zealand.

Domino's said it was also looking into expanding its use of drones to Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

 
 

3. Doughnuts, coffee in first US-approved drone delivery

Convenience retailer 7-Eleven and drone start-up Flirtey made the first United States-approved drone delivery in July.

The package included doughnuts, hot coffee and a chicken sandwich, which were flown to a family in Reno, Nevada, in a special box for hot and cold food.

Flirtey, which works with drones to deliver relief supplies as part of humanitarian missions around the world, said it hopes to expand its partnership with 7-Eleven for convenience deliveries.

4. Medical supplies and blood samples

California-based start-up Matternet has been developing drone delivery technology since its founding in 2011, delivering medical supplies to countries like Haiti, Switzerland and the Dominican Republic.

In September, Matternet announced its partnership with Mercedes-Benz Vans to integrate drones into vans for lightweight goods delivery.

In March, Matternet launched trials delivering blood samples by drone in Malawi, in a fight against HIV.

SOURCES: AFP, BBC, The Business Times, The Straits Times, The Sun