A collection of US companies has chosen Rwanda as the first place to test a drone delivery service that's not just a PR stunt, using a combination of slingshot-launched vehicles and parachute drops to dump goods in the approximate whereabouts of the destination.
It's the dream of Zipline, a startup that consists of dreaming tech entrepreneurs with past roles at Google, SpaceX and Lockheed Martin, with the noble aim of speeding up delivery of medical supplies across the rural parts of the country. Blood and medicines will be flinging their way to their destinations at a current maximum range of 93 miles from base, with the delivery planes flying at a height of just 152m to avoid troubling commercial flights.
The Rwandan health department pays for the deliveries to be made, which apparently works out to around the same cost of sending out an ambulance to deliver blood supplies and whatnot, so everyone's a winner and perhaps by this time next year they'll be bunging your Amazon Bachelor Chow through the letterbox within 60 seconds of confirming your password. [BBC]