Walmart is teaming up with San Francisco-based Zipline to deliver certain items to customers’ houses using a fixed-wing drone. This comes just a week after we reported about the supermarket giant’s cooperation with Flytrex, another drone-delivery provider that instead works with multicopter drones.
Walmart will start trial deliveries of select health and wellness products near its headquarters in Northwest Arkansas early next year. Zipline’s technology allows delivery within a 50-mile radius under one hour. The package gets dropped by parachute from an internal compartment as the drone flies by the target.
Zipline was one of the first startups to succesfully start drone-delivery operations and now has the world’s largest drone delivery network. In 2016, they began operating in Rwanda, focusing on the on-demand delivery of medical supplies. They have since successfully delivered over 200,000 medical products to thousands of health facilities.