Sweeny, Not Bezos, Will Command First U.S. Drone Deliveries

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His pioneering Australian UAV company Flirtey will ply a water route delivering medical supplies.

A few years ago on 60 Minutes, Amazon's Jeff Bezos promoted the idea of drone aircrafts flying parcels directly to people's doorsteps. But it will be an unknown young Australian by the name of Matt Sweeny who will direct the first commercial deliveries made by UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, the technical name for drones).

Later this month, Sweeny's company Flirtey will partner with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to fly medical samples from the New Jersey mainland to a test vessel off the coast of Cape May. Medical supplies from the ship will be the payload on return flights.

Flirtey was the first company in the world to make commercial drone flights, delivering textbooks to Australian students in 2014. Sweeny (left) became enamored of drones as a student in China, when he bought a toy helicopter at a Shanghai discount store.

In March, Flirtey made the first successful test flight in the U.S. when one of its six-rotor UAVs flew a half mile without human assistance and lowered a package to the ground in Hawthorne, NV.

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