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Zipline, UPS partner on drone delivery of medical supplies (pictures)

At a press demonstration of the Zipline drone, the unmanned vehicle delivered a package of fake blood from the air.

Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala

Laura Hautala

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1 of 10 Josh Miller/CNET

Zipline and UPS have partnered on an effort to use drones to deliver medical supplies in Rwanda. Here we see the drone from the front. It has two batteries and control systems as backups in case one fails.


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2 of 10 Josh Miller/CNET

The lightweight fuselage is made of a carbon fiber composite material.

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Detail under the wing of the drone.

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Ready for takeoff: the Zipline drone rests at the bottom of the launch structure before taking flight.

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A program logs data from a flight simulation.

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Blastoff: A press of the launch button sends the drone on its way. The flight is fully automated from this point on.

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The drone flies at an altitude of between 200 and 400 feet, and it can travel about 75 miles round trip powered by batteries.

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Contact: The drone takes local wind readings and circles before dropping the package of medical supplies into an area the size of three parking spaces.

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The drone delivers its package without landing and then returns to the hub.

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The drone can carry a package of medical supplies weighing up to 3.3 pounds.

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