Zipline Drone Delivers Goods From The Skies | Inquirer Technology

Zipline Lets You Receive Packages Via Drone Delivery

03:14 PM March 21, 2023

Imagine you ordered food or a new shirt online. The delivery service says your order is here, but you don’t see anyone at the door. Then, a drone swoops down to drop your package!

That is how Zipline drone delivery works. The American company wants to make it easier for people to receive food, medicine, and other products.


It operates on three continents: Africa, North America, and Asia. Also, it uses two types of drones, P1 and P2, to cover short and long distances.

How do Zipline P1 drone deliveries work?

Zipline uses Platform 1 or P1 drones to cover long distances. It can deliver up to five pounds of cargo across a 60-mile radius.

It looks and works like a regular airplane. The company uses a catapult system to quickly launch the Zipline drone into the air.

Then, an artificial intelligence system enables the unmanned aerial vehicle to locate and reach the delivery location automatically.

Once it reaches its destination, the drone drops the package from the air. Don’t worry about your package breaking because it will softly land via parachute!

Afterward, the drone automatically returns to the landing pad. Then, the user could swap out the batteries for a new one for the next flight.

Zipline became Rwanda’s national drone delivery provider six years ago, delivering blood bags, medicines, and vaccines efficiently.


According to The Lancet, the Zipline drone service reduced blood wastage across the country by 67%.

Another report from Wharton found “evidence of improved blood inventory management and improved health outcomes as a result of drone delivery.”

How do Zipline P2 drone deliveries work?

The Platform 2 or P2 drone works like a regular drone. It can perform VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) to hover over a specific spot instead of speeding past it like the P1.

The P1 needs a large area for landing and take-off. Meanwhile, the P2 can immediately take you to the skies from your porch or front yard. 

The latter can fly up to 70mph within a 50-mile radius while carrying five pounds of cargo. Moreover, it can recharge its batteries by itself.

Zipline drone charging stations look like lamp posts, where P2s automatically link and remain steady until the next delivery.

More importantly, it has a unique drone delivery system. The P2 contains a miniature aircraft called a Zip that carries cargo.

Once it reaches its destination, the P2 carefully drops the Zip attached to a thin, durable tether. Then, the Zip’s underside retracts to drop the package.

Afterward, the larger P2 drone pulls back the Zip and returns to its owner. Recently, Zipline partnered with Walmart to enable drone deliveries in Arkansas.

Aside from Arkansas, Zipline is active in North Carolina and Utah. Moreover, it operates in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, and Japan.


Zipline provides drone delivery services to various businesses to improve their customer service. At the time of writing, it is not yet available in the Philippines.

Still, drone deliveries will likely become more prevalent in the near future. After all, we already have companies like FlyingLabs that offer medical drone deliveries in the country.

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