Drones that monitor crops, control mosquito populations and even deliver defibrillators have been given the green light to start testing in US airspace. Ten commercial drone projects have been selected to try out new ways for the unmanned craft to be integrated into the skies.

This includes Zipline, which offers a blood delivery service in Rwanda, along with Apple. Amazon, however, which wanted to offer drone parcel deliveries was not selected. The Federal Aviation Authority has previously had very strict rules about the use of drones.

A permit was needed to fly one, nighttime flying and beyond the line of sight, flying banned completely.

The FAA has more than one million drones, with 90,000 pilots registered.


Commercially viable drones are still a ways off it would seem. Still, it’s only a matter of time until Deliveroo gets on that money train.

Apple was brought on to capture images of North Carolina by drone, with Uber, Microsoft and Intel also being involved in projects. Amazon, according to Reuters, applied to deliver goods via drone to shoppers in New York but was denied.

The ten projects include things like using the machines to control mosquito populations, testing food delivery services, and to word in Flirtey on delivering medical supplies.

The ten winners were picked from 149 proposals.

The US secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, stated:

‘Data gathered from these pilot projects will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace.’

It’s only a matter of time before the UK joins the growing number of countries using drones. Seriously, we’d never have to want for Pringles at 3 am ever again.