Walmart announced today that it would start a pilot project to deliver COVID-19 self-collection kits using automated drones at customers' doorsteps. The retail giant recently started similar trials to deliver grocery, household essentials, and certain health and wellness products.
Walmart has partnered with Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp, a drone service provider, and plans to conduct trial deliveries of collection kits in North Las Vegas today and Cheektowaga, New York, in October. To qualify for the drone delivery, the retailer has laid out some requirements:
"Patients who qualify for drone delivery of the COVID-19 self-collection kits must live in a single-family residence within a 1-mile radius of the designated Supercenters in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga."
Drones launched today will drop the self-collection kits for coronavirus on driveways, front sidewalks, or backyards of houses that lie within a one-mile radius of the specified Walmart stores in the aforementioned locations. Customers will themselves perform the nasal swab and send back samples to Quest Diagnostics for testing.
Walmart said it plans to learn what role drone deliveries can play in pandemic response, delivery of healthcare products, and retail.