Companies look to use drones to deliver at-home COVID-19 tests

Imagine a coronavirus test being dropped at your front door.

As cases continue to climb across the country, some cities are turning to innovative ways to test people. For example, Walmart is looking at how drones could make testing easier.

They are working with Quest Diagnostics and drone services provider, DroneUp, to deliver COVID-19 nasal swab test kits. The six-week pilot program was launched in north Las Vegas, Cheektowaga, New York, and El Paso, Texas. They are available for free for people within a one-mile radius of a participating location.

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Meanwhile, in Reno, drone startup Flirtey is working with Vault Health to drop off COVID-19 saliva tests. Participating cities said that the drone deliveries are a good way to provide quick, contact-free testing.

DroneUp's CEO Tom Walker said that they hope these test programs can pave the way for widespread deliveries. 

"They see it done safely. They see it done responsibly. They see it being done for a good cause, not just for a marketing gimmick or delivering a fast food item just to show that we can do it. But delivering something that has true impact and value," Walker said.

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Industry experts said that they have still got some hurdles to overcome, particularly with technological and regulatory limitations.

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