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Navajo Nation testing drones to deliver supplies to residents in remote areas

By Alexis Cortez

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    NAVAJO NATION (KPHO) — The Navajo Nation is testing drone technology in a new way — by using the technology to deliver much-needed supplies to residents in remote areas.

On Saturday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer met with several technology companies for the first-ever launch of the “Healing Eagle Feather” drone at Navajo Veterans Memorial Park. The launch was used as a demonstration to show how drones can deliver essential items to residents who may not have access to critical supplies.

Officials were successfully able to simulate four deliveries containing food, medical, and emergency items. Each drone was able to carry up to 14 pounds. Several much-needed items included insulin kits, prepackaged meals, animal medicine, emergency communication devices, and anti-venom.

“Just yesterday, it took a whole team of us to assist one family, who had been stranded in a rural area, with food and pulling them out of the mud. You can imagine how many more of our people find themselves in the same boat that this technology will help,” said President Nez.

Each drone can fly 20 miles or more and can capture live video. The drones follow automated flight paths, even in strong weather. President Nez says the technology could even be used to improve rural addressing, geological surveying, and possibly one day, deliver voting ballots.

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