After Amazon, Walmart is the next retail giant to experiment with drone delivery, and they have partnered with “Flytrex” to carry out a pilot program in North Carolina.
With viral outbreaks and people obliged to self-isolate at home, there isn’t a better time to move this kind of technology forward, and Walmart knows it has a lot to gain from this.
The products that are going to be flown around concern grocery and various household items that don’t account for more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of weight. Flytrex informs us that this would be six to eight hamburgers, so you can get an idea.
The drone can fly at a height of 230 feet (70 meters) and reach a maximum speed of 32 miles per hour (51.5 km/h) which is pretty quick. Flytrex’s drones don’t use cameras at all, so navigation is done based solely on GPS and proximity sensors. The delivery step will be carried out by hovering at 80 feet (24 meters) above the yard of the customer and lowering the order by using a tether.
Sure, there are many complexities in the whole endeavor, but Flytrex has been doing this for two years already in Iceland, for retailer ‘AHA’. Walmart has to catch up with Amazon that already holds an FAA approval for drone delivery, as they can’t afford to lose ground now that online orders have skyrocketed.
Does this mean that we’re close to having our grocery delivered by drones in our yard? If we are to be honest with you, we’d advise you not to hold your breath. Walmart and Flytrex haven’t even mentioned anything about the duration of the pilot program, so it’s clear that they expect unforeseen obstacles along the way.
For sure though, we are gradually and steadily getting to the day when drones will be zooming the urban skies, taking same-day delivery to the next level.