Trade Me does not believe drones will be widely used to deliver shopping any time soon, but it has helped Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) see if they could save lives.
LandSAR put a delivery drone made by Australian company Flirtey through its paces last weekend near Lake Roxburgh on the South Island, in a trial paid for by Trade Me.
The volunteer organisation tested the drone’s ability to search for a volunteer pretending to be a missing person and to deliver emergency medical supplies.
Group support officer Mike Ambrose said LandSAR was impressed with the quality of imagery the drone was able to capture and had no doubt the technology had the potential to find people quickly “if it is durable, reliable and well directed”.
“The ability to deliver packages such as a two-way radio to parties that have been located is another exciting possibility,” he said.
Trade Me chief executive Jon Macdonald said it was an interesting experiment.
“There’s lots of hype around drones [and] we think commercial drone delivery at scale is still some way from being meaningful. However, the chance to make a practical difference in areas like search and rescue work feels like it could be much closer,” he said.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com