DANVERS, MA: September 23, 2016. UPS has begun testing the commercial use of drones in conjunction with CyPhy Works, a provider of next generation robotics technologies.
Last September CyPhy Works announced a technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT), an investment firm that identifies technology to support U.S. Intelligence agencies. The following month, CyPhy raised US$22 million from additional investors including UPS, Motorola and Draper Nexus.
In August this year the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) issued new rules that expanded the uses of drones in commercial applications. Captain Houston Mills, director of safety for UPS Airlines, is a member of the FAA's new drone advisory committee.
"Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers," said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. "We think drones offer a great solution to deliver to hard-to-reach locations in urgent situations where other modes of transportation are not readily available."
According to UPS the CyPhy drone used in a test from Beverly, MA to an island three miles off the U.S. Atlantic coastline, was battery-powered with night vision and a communications system that cannot be intercepted or disrupted. The company said it is also exploring the use of drones to deliver humanitarian aid in remote parts of the world.
"We're thrilled to partner with UPS in this endeavor," said Helen Greiner, CyPhy's founder and chief technology officer. "Drone technology used in this way can save lives and deliver products and services to places that are difficult to reach by traditional transit infrastructures."