UPS and CVS deliver prescriptions using commercial drones

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

UPS last month was granted permission by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate as a “drone airline,” effectively allowing it to conduct business nationwide using drones as delivery vehicles. UPS was the first company to be awarded this certification and predictably, it wasted little time in taking to the skies.

On Tuesday, UPS announced it recently conducted the first revenue-generating drone delivery of a prescription medication from a CVS pharmacy directly to a customer’s home. The delivery, and a subsequent delivery, took place on November 1. The flights originating from a CVS store in Cary, North Carolina, and flew to customers’ homes nearby where the Matternet-made M2 drone hovered about 20 feet above ground and lowered their payloads to the ground using a cable and a winch.

The drones flew autonomously although they were monitored remotely by a human operator who was ready to take over in the event of an emergency.

UPS has conducted more than 1,500 revenue-generating drone deliveries at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, since March but those were in a business to business setting. The work with CVS represents the first consumer-facing application of its drone delivery service.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Range? Time? and other similar questions are plentiful ..... but to be fair, I can see when this could be a real life saver, especially for those that are in emergency situations, shut-in's, and similar. Considering the limited range and flight time we have seen with many of these units, I'm wondering how the units they are using stack up? In some areas, ie: Afghanistan, I could see the benefit for emergency medical support to remote outposts or even during battles if the drone is quick enough.....


IT Overlord
One the coolest ways I've seen drones being used is to plant tree's and dust crops.
They can cover amazing ground and hold a decent amount of supplies/materials.