Yale Students Start Drone Delivery Service On Campus

Article by News8 WTNH.com

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A group of students at Yale University has set up a drone delivery service on campus.

Kiki Air promises to deliver candy, snacks and other small items to students using their new app.

The service is currently being tested using a small group of students. Developers say the users order items from their phones and receive them at one of several drop locations around campus in a padded envelope attached to a drone.  

The startup won a $150,000 grant from Y Combinator, a California-based investor.  The company’s founder, senior Jason Lu, says his company grew from a class project.

“The convenience store business model hasn’t been updated in a hundred years,” Co-founder Cat Orman, a sophomore, told the student newspaper. “Delivery is expensive, inefficient and pays drivers terrible wages. We created Kiki Air because we want to bring that model into the future in the way that creates real jobs and reduces the carbon footprint.”

A Yale spokesperson said that the university has agreed to a trial period for the company under strict guidelines. The trial is scheduled to end March 6 and the university will then determine if the program can continue.

Company officials say they hope eventually to expand the service to other campuses.

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