Drone delivery company Flirtey and Dr. Timothy Amukele, assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recently conducted what they say was the first ship-to-shore drone delivery in the U.S.
As previously announced before the event, Flirtey and Amukele conducted the flights on the New Jersey coastline at the invitation of disaster preparedness nonprofit Field Innovation Team, which also hosted guests from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance.
Flirtey drones carrying medical samples for emergency testing flew between an onshore medical relief camp at Cape May and a test facility on a vessel stationed off the coast. In a round trip, Flirtey drones then delivered medical supplies from the vessel to the onshore medical camp.
Flirtey says its ability to rapidly deliver vital medical supplies along a coastline when road systems may be damaged is a leap forward in humanitarian logistics and response.
“Imagine a future where in the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy, Flirtey drones rapidly deliver emergency medical supplies, food and water,” says Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey. “During Hurricane Sandy, more than 1.4 million liters of water, 1.6 million meals and 1 million fliers were delivered by first responders. Imagine how much faster and further these life-saving resources could be delivered by drone. This demonstration is helping to make that future a reality and taking us one step closer to Flirtey’s mission to save lives and change lifestyles.”