DHL’s ParcelCopter 3.0 – A Tiltwing Delivery Drone

DHL’s ParcelCopter 3.0 – A Tiltwing Delivery Drone

Bavarian Tested >>> The DHL ParcelCopter 3.0 Designed for integration into its logistic chain and as a tool for improving infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas, over a three month period the latest version of DHL’s ParcelCopter was rigorously tested. Covering 8 km per trip and carrying up to 2 kg payloads, the delivery drones integration with mail packstations (also known as Parcelcopter Skyports) proved flawless over 130 autonomous trips. More details can be...
Catalonia at the vanguard of drone development?

Catalonia at the vanguard of drone development?

UAVs in Catalonia are highly ranked (4 out of the top 10 worldwide as per one research study). Reasons? Catalonia has extensive drone history (since the 1980’s) They have the BCN Drone Center (a specialist drone center with 2,500 hectares of segregated airspace for drone testing) Accommodating laws (allowing UAVs of up to 25 kg to fly outdoors outside of cities and built up neighborhoods to height of 120 meters and withing 500 m of its pilot) A government sponsored CataloniaSmartDrones working group (comprised of 25 companies and 16 organizations, including universities and research groups, and all working together on making the region drone-friendly) The original article can be found here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/come-fly-with-me-why-catalonia-is-really-seeing-drones-take-off/...
Drones in Japanese Golf Courses

Drones in Japanese Golf Courses

Starting May 9, Rakuten will test drone deliveries on a golf course in Japan. The drones can provide food, snacks and small accessories (e.g. new golf balls) to players while they are out on the course between 8:30 am and 3 pm. Maximum parcel weight is 2 kg. Minimum purchase amount is 100 yen (~0.90 USD). Video...
Google’s Talking Delivery Drone

Google’s Talking Delivery Drone

“Caution: Stay Back,” the Google delivery drone might say… An April 25th patent outlines how Google’s tether-based delivery mechanism would be complemented by multi-colored warning lights and matter-of-fact voice commands. Will you be looking forward to that upbeat “Delivery Complete” message? More info on the Quartz.com website >>>...
Walmart Joins the Delivery Drone Race!

Walmart Joins the Delivery Drone Race!

Walmart is the latest retail giant to consider package delivery via drone Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 21 Walmart seeks to test drones for home delivery, pickup  (October 26, 2015) (Editor’s Note: Amazon assures US$1 drone deliveries in 30 minutes. Google promises to cover 5 miles in 5 minutes. What can Walmart offer that is different?) What the Article Chronicles:  The physical retail giant Walmart has applied with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test drones for several purposes such as home delivery, grocery pickup and warehouse inventory management. The goal? To complement their “vast network of stores, distribution & fulfillment centers and transportation fleet” with a drone flotilla to better expand their commercial reach. After all, “there is a Walmart within five miles of 70 percent of the U.S. population, which creates some unique and interesting possibilities for serving customers with drones”. Taking into consideration current drone technology limitations, it is most likely Walmart will begin by using their drones for inventory management outdoors. These drones (likely based on the DJI Phantom 3 Professional series) would fly around Walmart’s distribution center parking lots and take stock of trailers via electronic tagging (to detect inventory still packed inside their containers). Alternatively, the drones could make visual scans of the inventory inside a typical Walmart million square foot (92,900 square meter) distribution center. The technology employed in this case would likely be similar to the tech employed by South African inventory management startup – DroneScan – which uses UAVs to scan barcodes that would normally be too difficult to reach for humans in a typical warehouse environment. However, Walmart does seem...
Disruptive and Innovative Parcel Drone Deliveries Down Under

Disruptive and Innovative Parcel Drone Deliveries Down Under

Australia Post is the latest postal service to kick-off its own parcel drone delivery trials Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 20 Drone Delivery Down Under  (November 02, 2015) (Editor’s Note: First unmanned mining trucks delivering ore and now UAVs delivering the post, what delivery vehicle will Australia automate next?) Following up on the postal drone delivery trials of SwissPost, Posti and SingPost, Australia Post’s CEO, Ahmed Fahour, confirmed that they are aiming for a 2016 parcel delivery drone trial with a major e-tailer (electronic retailer) who would like to deliver to regional and rural communities in Australia. According to Mr. Fahour, their test drone meets all regulatory flying requirements, has backup engines, and GPS coordination capabilities to deliver packages “right to the customer’s patios”. Each drone would be able to carry a 2 kg (4.4 lb) payload and would cost around AU$10,000 (US$ 7,200). With their potential plans to have 3D printers at their post office locations and the expansion of their parcel pick-up lockers services in addition to the establishment of regular delivery drone services, Australia Post hopes to expand its horizons as a response to the ever growing decline of the letter delivery business which was highlighted by the 207 year old postal delivery service’s first financial loss in 30 years. Personal Take From a personal perspective, one could imagine ordering a product online, having it 3D printed at the local post office and then having it loaded onto a delivery drone for either home or parcel locker delivery. Hopefully, the entrepreneurs selected to participate in the AU$20 million (US$ 14 million) innovation capital fund recently launched by Australia...

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