Air, Feature

Look: no pilot – DHL to trial robot Parcelcopter

[ September 24, 2014   //   ]

DHL Parcel is to launch a drone service to deliver medicines and other urgent items to the North Sea island of Juist. The ‘Parcelcopter’ will operate on an experimental first time in Europe that an unmanned aircraft will be operated outside of the pilot’s field of vision in a real-life mission. It is the latest stage in the parcelcopter research project it launched in December 2013.

DHL and its two research and development partners, the Institute of Flight System Dynamics at RWTH Aachen University and Microdrones Parcel have completed a comprehensive consultation and approval process led by Lower Saxony’s Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport and a restricted flight area for the 12km flight to the island has been set up exclusively for the project.

CEO of Deutsche Post DHL’s Post – eCommerce’s Parcel Division, Jürgen Gerdes, describes the DHL parcelcopter 2.0 as “already one of the safest and most reliable flight systems in its class that meets the requirements needed to fulfill such a mission.”

To ensure that the DHL parcelcopter operates reliably, flies safely and always lands at the right location, an autopilot with automated takeoff and landing functions was developed.It can fly at up to 18 meters per second (65km/h) depending on wind speed and will operate when ferries and manned flights are not available from the harbor in Norddeich.

Currently, there are no specific plans to use the DHL parcelcopter in normal parcel delivery operations, but DHL says that the use of parcelcopters to deliver urgently needed goods to thinly populated or remote areas or in emergencies is an interesting option for the future.

((Pic – Parcelkopter))

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