UPS successfully tests drone deliveries with lorry-mounted octocopter

UPS has completed its first ever drone delivery in the US.

The delivery firm used a lorry-mounted octocopter to dispatch a package to a blueberry farm outside Tampa, Florida.

The drone launched itself off the lorry’s retractable roof with the package in tow, travelling around a quarter of a mile to drop it off at a house before returning to the vehicle, which in the meantime had been driven to a different location.

The drone used in the test wasn’t actually developed by UPS, but by a company called Workhorse.

Named HorseFly, the drone carries parcels in a suspended cage, which can be reloaded each time it docks on the lorry.

This is where it also recharges itself, through a connection between its arms and the lorry’s electric battery.

It weighs 9.5lb, and is capable of carrying a 10lb package and flying for up to 30 minutes at a time, at a top speed of 45 miles per hour.

For the test, UPS had to follow current FAA rules, ensuring that the drone was within sight of a pilot at all times, but the company hopes to automatically determine routes using its On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation system in the future.

Drivers would be able to launch and recall them with the push of a button.

“It really moves us into understanding how the technology can assist our service providers,” Mark Wallace, UPS’s senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability, told CNET. “This will not replace our service providers.”

Amazon is also working on a drone delivery system, which it has been testing a little closer to home, in Cambridge.

Source: Independent

hot news
videotextreview Parrot plans to stop selling Mambo and Swing drones

Parrot discontinued the Parrot Mambo Fly, Parrot Flypad, and Parrot Swing. According to Parrot, the company is exiting the toy and mini-drone industry, shifting its focus to prosumer and commercial drones.
Drone company Parrot, maker of the Anafi 4K folding drone, is reportedly leaving the mini-drone market. This week, Wirecutter confirmed that ...

videotextreview Drones offer high-tech help to Japan’s aging farmers

The next generation farmhand in Japan’s aging rural heartland may be a drone.

Nileworks Inc.'s automated drone flies over rice plants, spraying pesticide while diagnosing growth of individual rice stalks, during a demonstration in Tome, Miyagi prefecture Japan August 20, 2018.

For several months, developers and farmers in northeast Japan ...

Show more