Matthew Sweeney, the chief executive officer of Flirtey, said the Australian company chose UNR because of their status as one of the top research institutions for drone studies, as they offer a minor in unmanned autonomous systems.
Sweeney said the partnership with the University could allow Flirtey and UNR to be trailblazers for developing a safe drone delivery system, which would potentially position Flirtey as a leader in the industry when the U.S market opens.
For UNR, the arrival of the drone delivery industry in Nevada would not only help students network with members of the drone industry, but could also expand the economy in Nevada.
Sweeney originally planned to conduct research in the Bay area, but decided on Nevada for the school’s reputation as well as the fact that it was one of six states allowed by the FAA to conduct UAV testing.
Flirtey’s move to Nevada will send a message to the drone industry that Nevada is a growing hub for members of the aviation workforce, says Gov. Brian Sandoval.
“The collaboration between Flirtey and UNR will send a strong message that Nevada is a leader in this emerging industry, not only because of our unique environment, but also because we are educating and training the aviation workforce of the future,” he said according to rgj.com.
Since flying drones in the United States remains illegal, Flirtey is concentrating its efforts in further developing the drone delivery system in places like New Zealand.
Sweeney hopes that in time the FAA will recognize the potential of a safe drone delivery system and legalize it in the United States.
“Envision a natural disaster like (Hurricane) Katrina where drones could have been used to bring in emergency medical supplies to people, or at the Superdome where people were stuck, and water and other supplies could have been delivered by drones,” he said.