Walmart Partners With DroneUp to Start Drone Deliveries in Arkansas

DroneUp will deliver packages within a one-mile radius of the Walmart store.

Walmart Partners With DroneUp to Start Drone Deliveries in Arkansas

Drone deliveries are slowly gaining traction in the US

  • DroneUp is a Virginia-based company
  • Walmart customers can get small items delivered by drones
  • For now, deliveries are done within a one-mile radius of the store

Walmart has been taking steps to expand its drone delivery options. The department store chain has decided to expand this facility for customers living in Farmington, Arkansas, US. Customers within a one-mile radius of the Walmart store can order small items such as tuna caps, baby supplies, and paper utensils. Walmart has partnered with DroneUp, a Virginia-based company, for drone-based deliveries. In the next few months, the company will also provide drone stations in Rogers and Bentonville in Arkansas.

A week ago, Walmart partnered with Zipline to become the first commercial US drone delivery service within a 50-mile radius of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. The delivery drone would drop packages with a parachute from a Zipline plane to a select group of recipients.

Unlike Zipline, DroneUp's services will deliver only within a mile of a Walmart store. A report by The Verge suggests that Walmart took only baby steps with this move as the three stores where DroneUp will operate are already within Zipline's service region. The packages will be dropped using a cable. 

Walmart has tried to include many items in drone delivery services. Apart from essential food items and baby food, Walmart will also deliver paper cups and plates, crayons, trash bags, mixed fruit cups, vitamins, baby diapers, and boxes of buttermilk pancake mix via drone, the report added.

There are weight restrictions when ordering items via drone delivery service for a delivery fee of $10 (roughly Rs. 745). The website allows customers to check out with goods weighing only 4 pounds (around 1.8kg) in total. The heaviest item on the website was a 3.87-pound box of Similac baby formula. Despite the weight restriction, Walmart's website does not enable a customer to sort items by weight. 

Earlier, Walmart, along with DroneUp, tested some drone deliveries. The drill was conducted within a mile radius in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga, New York.

How will India's new liberalised drone rules impact the industry? And where are they left wanting? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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