Zipline is partnering with the UPS Foundation and Gavi, the nonprofit vaccine alliance, to execute its plan to make up to 150 drone deliveries per day of live-saving blood to 21 health facilities across a broad swath of the western portion of Rwanda. The plan combines Zipline's resilient drone design with the supply chain expertise of UPS and Gavi's experience delivering vaccines to all parts of the world. And while the Rwanda's zips will take deliveries to designated health centers, Rinaudo expects that could change as well -- once smartphones equipped with GPS are more ubiquitous, deliveries could go just about anywhere. So while the FAA works on drone regulations for U.S. airspace, Zipline is working on building up its flight logs.
A California startup called Zipline International has announced a partnership with the government of Rwanda to use its fixed-wing cargo drones to deliver medical supplies to remote health clinics in the East African nation. The Zip aircraft is made by Bay Area startup Zipline, which will begin drone delivery of blood and medicine to remote Rwandan clinics later this year. Starting in July, Zipline, which came out of stealth mode Monday, will begin shuttling blood and other vital medical supplies via its 22-pound, battery-powered Zip aircraft to remote clinics throughout the central African nation of Rwanda. Unlike quadcopter drones that lower their cargo to the ground, Zip drops its parachute-equipped payload from low heights.
One of the top leaders of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror organization in Somalia was killed Thursday when the U.S. military launched an airstrike from a drone, the Pentagon says. The al-Shabab official, Hassan Ali Dhoore, was specifically targeted by U.S. forces for his alleged role in two separate attacks in the capital city of Mogadishu, according to a U.S. Defense Department statement Friday. Al-Shabab denied the U.S. account, but the Somali prime minister's office confirmed the airstrike. Al-Shabab, an Islamic extremist group of militants, has been terrorizing the region for about the past decade and typically targets the Somali government, as exemplified by Thursday's suicide bombing that took place as the assailant hugged a local official.