Palo Alto Startup Starts Drone Deliveries... In Bhutan

Bhutan, not Berkeley, is testing ground for drone delivery startup

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    Matternet, a Palo Alto-based startup, is running medical supplies through Bhutan.

    Happiness begins in Bhutan. So, too, may deliveries via drone.

    A Bay Area-based startup is using the Himalayan mountain country as its testing ground for "drone-based deliveries," according to reports.

    Matternet feels that it can save lives by delivering medical supplies via unmanned aerial vehicles, according to domain-b.com.

    The company is currently running supplies from a hospital in the capital to clinics in mountainous terrain otherwise in the country.

    Bhuthan has under 1,000 medical centers of various sizes, from hospitals to small clinics, to serve 700,000 people -- but many of these are virtually inaccessible, given the unforgiven mountain terrain.

    The startup, which is using drones to deliver medical supplies, is therefore a perfect solution, the Web site reported.

    Matternet counts founder Andreas Raptopoulos and former Fulbright scholar Paola Santana as its brain trust, with Paypal and Yammer board memebrs as investors.

    The company went to Bhutan after trying out its technology in earthquake-ravaged Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Web site reported.