Drone-to-door medicines trial takes flight in Ireland
A drone company that had to abandon its fast-food delivery tests has partnered with Ireland's health authority to deliver prescriptions instead.
Manna Aero is working with the Health Service Executive to deliver medicines and other essential supplies to vulnerable people in the small rural town of Moneygall.
The company's trial uses autonomous drones made in Wales.
And it is looking at the possibility of testing in the UK within weeks.
The UK has already announced a test of drones to carry supplies to the Isle of Wight during the pandemic.
Also, in Florida, care home residents will soon be able to have their prescriptions delivered.
But those tests are on fixed flightpaths.
And the Irish flights are going straight to homes, the final stage of a "closed loop" end-to-end system the company says is a first.
Local GPs write prescriptions after a video consultation, which drones then drop off at patients' homes.
The craft can also deliver essential supplies – such as milk or bread – to those who are not supposed to go outside.
Fidelma Gleeson, 70, said it was "absolutely brilliant".