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Delivery by drone becoming a reality

Grand Sky Development Co.

Last week, retail giant Walmart announced they had entered into agreements with three U-A-S companies to test different uses of drones for making deliveries. The move is being looked at as Walmart’s attempt to keep up with delivery plans being made by Amazon.

Thomas Swoyer is president of Grand Sky Development Company. He says the move is not surprising as more and more companies try to map out their plans for drone delivery. Swoyer says at this point the deliveries are in the 10-pound or less category but the competition is building…

"The delivery process still has to be worked out. For example, does a drone deliver something to your front porch? In front of your garage? To your driveway, to the sidewalk in front of your street? Safety issues like, if I get to close to your front door is your dog come after it?  You know, things like that still have to be worked out but they're working very hard to make that technology possible."

Swoyer says although UAS delivery is in the early stages, there are already some examples to look at…

"There's been medical deliveries, medical product delivery between say a blood bank, a donor bank and a hospital, or blood plasma... The state of North Dakota has chosen to work on the network that will support all kinds of deliveries. So we've taken kind of a slightly different approach. But yeah there has been some trial, very pilot projects, very specific oriented deliveries. And I think that that's going to continue to grow and be faster."

Swoyer says along with single package home delivery, look for things to develop in terms of larger cargo drones bringing hundreds of packages to distribution centers.

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