Australians Will Soon Have Textbooks Delivered Via Drone

A new startup, Flirtey, plans to roll out its service next year, which they say will represent "the first use of fully automated commercial zones for package delivery in the world."

What's the Latest Development?


In 2014, Australians may start seeing a new kind of courier: A Sydney-based startup, Flirtey, is joining forces with student services platform Zookal to deliver textbooks to customers via drones. The books will arrive at an outdoor destination, where the drone will hover and lower them carefully using a retractable cord. In addition to shorter delivery times -- students could get books in as little as two to three minutes -- Zookal CEO and Flirtey co-founder Ahmed Haider says using drones will cut delivery costs to less than one-tenth of those incurred using traditional methods.

What's the Big Idea?

Australia is well-positioned to be a leading adopter of commercial drone use, given recently relaxed government regulations and its diverse geography. However, one big hurdle that Flirtey is taking very seriously is the public's negative perception of drones. They are working with the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering to create guidelines "which will hopefully set a benchmark for the rest of the world as to how to interact with this new technology," says Haider. Assuming Congress follows through with passing the appropriate legislation, American students may find their books delivered via Flirtey in a few years.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at TechCrunch

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less