Unmanned drones save lives

The US has okayed the use of unmanned aircraft to drop medical supplies in areas no vehicle could go.

Rachel Kaplan ,

Tsahi Ben-Ami/ Flash 90

The US government has given the start-up company Zipline rights to operate unmanned aircraft to drop medical supplies in rural locations.

Since unmanned aircraft changed from war machines to hobby toys, companies around the world have been fighting to use the relatively inexpensive planes. Most countries in the world refuse to grant commercial permission, out of concerns for excessive air-traffic, as well as a worry that such aircraft would be used for more devious purposes.

Zipline, though, has received the green light to operate in hard-to-reach locations in Nevada, Maryland, and Washington state, especially Native American reservations.

Zipline has already proved its medical worth by dropping packages in Rwanda, Africa, and by the end of August is expected to service all areas of the country.