The logistic giant company, UPS, is looking to establish a new drone delivery system. It is not the only company looking to develop such a system. Nonetheless, on Monday, UPS took a step forward as it began testing its drone residential delivery.
For some time now, a number of companies have been trying to set up a new residential delivery system, one based on drones. Using such devices may come with a number of useful features.
For examples, drones should make it easier to reach remote or rural areas. And they could also provide a cheaper and faster transportation method. As big companies are trying to set up this new drone delivery system, they are still carrying out tests.
On February 20, UPS also started rolling out its first drone delivery system tests. These targeted a specific drone use. More exactly, they are trying to test and develop a residential such delivery system.
UPS rolled out its first residential drone delivery test in Lithia, Fla. These are not the company’s first drone tests. But it was the first to see drones being launched from a delivery van.
UPS’s new drone delivery system would work as follows. The drones would be launched from a delivery van. This would be carrying both the packages and the device. Following its launch, the drone would deliver the product directly to the doorstep.
After that it, it will return to the delivery van for a restock. In the meantime, the van itself would have moved to a new destination down the road. Such delivery vans would come equipped with robotic arms. These would pull down the drone and dock it on the van’s roof.
Monday’s tests saw the use of a Workhouse Group drone. Workhouse Group Inc, an Ohio-based company, already is a technology supplier for UPS.
The company released the HorseFly UAV Delivery System. And this was used in the February 20th test. It was specifically adapted to work with the proposed van delivery system.
The test trucks were also specifically adapted. They are custom built so as to be able to launch the HorseFly drones. And also to grab them as they return. HorseFly can be lowered inside a cage in the truck and reloaded. Whilst docked to the truck, the drone is also recharging. It does so through a physical connection. This links the drone arms to the van’s electric battery.
John Dodero, the UPS Vice President of Engineering, released some details. According to him, UPS is looking to make this type of residential drone delivery system work on any type of vehicle.
Its purpose will be to make last-mile deliveries. And it should work on electric or gas-powered vehicles alike. The key factors will be to ensure the drone’s charging and docking systems.
The UPS drones saw the use of on octocopter. And they are said to carry “implications for future deliveries”. This new drone delivery system may especially advantage rural areas. With homes few and far in between, it would make it easier for the van driver to simply push a button and deploy the drone. This would save a significant mileage.
Nonetheless, a daily drone delivery system is still quite far away. Technicians still have to work out a few details. Reportedly, a second UPS test on Monday suffered from a glitch. And developers still have to fine tune the drone docking and release systems.
And the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is still working on establishing a series of set commercial drone rules and regulations.
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