A Zipline delivery drone.
Courtesy of Zipline

Zipline got its start in 2014 delivering emergency blood supplies to remote Rwandan villages by drone, saving hundreds of lives. Nine years on, the company has scaled up—it is expecting to hit 1 million deliveries by the end of the year—and scaled out, conveying everything from Sweetgreen salads to prescription drugs for customers including Walmart, the Toyota Group, and GNC in the U.S., Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast. In March, it unveiled its next-gen drone system featuring an autonomous droid lowered by a tether to the ground, adding precision in space and time: customers can schedule deliveries down to the second, to an area as small as a backyard patio table or a front step.

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