Last August, the FAA began issuing waivers to companies allowing them to use drones for commercial use. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, these companies have rushed to expand their drone delivery programs in an attempt to meet the increased demand for delivered goods.
What Can Brown Do For You? UPS on Monday announced a partnership with CVS to pilot a prescription drug delivery service test program at The Villages, a large Florida retirement community.
UPS-operated drones will pick up medication from participating CVS locations, and fly it to an area near the retirement community so residents can pick their order up.
All 135,000 residents of The Villages are expected to have access to the service in early May.
Spreading Their Wings Alphabet subsidiary Wing laid claim to the title of America’s first drone delivery service when it opened for business last October in Christiansburg, Virginia.
At first, the company only offered limited delivery from a select few companies – FedEx, Walgreens, and local retailer Sugar Magnolia.
Over the past few weeks, Wing has expanded the number of items and businesses available to customers in response to the statewide lockdown due to COVID-19.
According to a company spokesperson, demand for Wing’s Virginia delivery service has more than doubled since the outbreak of the virus. A similar increase has been seen at the company’s other test programs in Australia and Finland.
What’s next? In last year’s FAA Aerospace Forecast, the agency predicted the U.S. market for commercial drones could triple in size between 2019 and 2023, while McKinsey has estimated that commercial drones could have an annual impact of $31 billion to $46 billion on GDP by the year 2026.
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Coronavirus lockdown sparks expansion of drones and robot deliveries
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Global cases rose above 3.22 million yesterday with more than 228,200 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to more than 1.06 million with 61,668 confirmed deaths.
A pug from North Carolinatested positive for COVID-19 in a Duke University study. This is the first recorded canine case in the U.S.
Russiareported its daily new case and daily death record on Tuesday, with national cases approaching 100,000 and deaths rising to 867.
The Navy on Wednesday launched a wider investigation into the USS Theodore coronavirus outbreak, which will delay the decision on whether or not to reinstate the ship’s captain Brett Crozier. Crozier was relieved of duty after writing a memo pleading for assistance with the ship’s virus outbreak, and was publicly called out by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who later resigned.
Early data from the first states to loosen restrictions – GA, SC, & OK – showed a slight uptick in retail foot traffic, mostly for travel, clothing, and entertainment.
Turkey Donates PPE To U.S.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Wednesday donated a planeload of protective gear to the United States. Along with the donation, he sent a letter addressed to President Trump calling for a closer relationship between the two countries following years of conflict.
More: President Trump imposed punitive tariffs on Turkey in 2018 after they detained an American pastor. Congress last summer threatened sanctions against Turkey after they purchased missile defense systems from Russia. In October, Turkey launched a military offensive into Syria against the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.
Joe Biden won Ohio’s Democratic primary election on Tuesday, the first ever to be done largely by mail. In other 2020 news, Andrew Yang sued the state of New York for canceling its Democratic primary, saying the state denied citizens the right to choose their candidate.
More: The Kansas Democratic primary is up next, and will be held entirely by mail for the first time. Ballots will be counted after Saturday, May 2nd.
U.S. GDPcontracted by 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020, the most drastic decrease since Q4 of 2008.
Facebookbeat analysts’ expectations for Q1 revenue but fell slightly short in earnings. Teslareported a profit for its third consecutive quarter after delivering 88,400 vehicles in Q1.
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates at zero and released a statement on Wednesday saying it will continue to closely monitor the market and take action where appropriate.
Apple and Googlereleased a beta version of their COVID-19 tracing software. It enables apps to notify individuals who have been exposed to the virus without collecting or sharing their data.
Costcounveiled new guidelines for shoppers to follow – including mandatory face masks – once its locations return to regular hours starting May 4.
The Trump administration on Wednesday placed Amazon’s web domains in the UK, France, Canada, Germany, and India on its “notorious markets” list of websites believed to facilitate IP violations. Amazon has pushed back against the decision, which doesn’t result in any specific penalties, claiming it was politically motivated.
More: Last week, a WSJ investigative report found that Amazon used data about independent sellers to develop competing products, in direct opposition to what company executives have told Congress.
Even More: Amazon renewed a three-year agreement with the NFL to live stream Thursday Night Football games, plus exclusive rights to one Saturday game.
According to research firm Mobile Insight, TikTok recently topped 2 billion downloads on the Google Play Store and the App Store. TikTok is the first non-Facebook owned app to reach 2 billion downloads since 2014 (WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger are the others).
More: Numerous U.S. agencies have banned TikTok from government devices, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, TSA, and Department of Homeland Security.
Sew Far, Sew Good
Ten-year-old Giana Harris of Beaverton, Oregon is a sewing veteran, having started her own company selling handmade hair scrunchies online last year. When the coronavirus outbreak reached her town, Giana decided to use her sewing skills to benefit the local community.
Her mother, Anna, saw a social media post from nonprofit Metropolitan Family Service asking for masks. Gina lept into action – just days afterward, she had already donated more than 100 homemade masks to MFS and another nonprofit.
Many homes around the Orlando, Florida area have recently been “tea-p’d” by employees of Infusion Tea, a local organic cafe with a wide selection of products.
Rather than covering their house with toilet paper, this version of “tea-p’ing” involves the cafe handing out free gifts of toilet paper and loose leaf tea, which are attached to a bright orange sign placed in residents’ yards.
There’s No Place Like Home
Eric Johnson was fast asleep one night in March when he was suddenly awoken by his dog, Bella, who was behaving strangely. Eric turned on the news and discovered a tornado was heading towards their town of Cookeville, Tennessee.
He quickly gathered his family into the bathtub, but the tornado struck his house as he headed to get Bella. After the storm cleared, she was nowhere to be found – until now. Bella was discovered on Sunday four miles from home, 54 days after she had originally been lost.
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😷 Mask On… in its latest iOS software update, Apple has added a feature where users attempting to sign in via Face ID while wearing a mask will immediately be prompted to input a password rather than being forced to wait for the Face ID unlock to fail.
✈️ On The Edge Of Your Seat… learn how manufacturers are experimenting with rear-facing airplane seats in an attempt to integrate social distancing into the air travel industry.
👨🚀 Space Race… a team of engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory took a break from unraveling the mysteries of space to create a prototype ventilator, specifically designed for COVID-19 patients, in just 37 days.
🌋 Abrupt Erupt… New Zealand’s White Island is nicknamed “Instagram Island” due to its gorgeous landscape. It’s also an active volcano that erupted last December with 47 people on the island. This is the story of the race to save those people after that worst-case scenario became reality. (25 min read).
The Top Flop
Which movie lost the most money in 2019?
A) Gemini Man B) Cats C) Terminator: Dark Fate D) X-Men: Dark Phoenix
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Earning just $252 million at the global box office, X-Men: Dark Phoenix posted a total loss of $133 million according to Deadline, narrowly beating out Terminator: Dark Fate which took a total loss of $122.6 million.