Coming soon to Singapore: robotic mail carriers in the skies!
SingPost, the country’s postal service provider, has just revealed its interest in handling some mail deliveries using
our robotic overlords drones. The company said it completed a trial to deliver mail and packages to recipients using a drone developed by IDA Labs, the nation’s organization in charge of developing smart city technology.
Here are the details:
The test flight which took five minutes carried a payload of a letter as well as t-shirt in a
packet and flew a total distance of two kilometres. The drone is equipped with
enhanced safety features, and is complemented with a prototype app designed with
security and verification features that ensures the mail reaches its intended recipient. It
has the capacity to carry a payload of up to half a kilogramme, fly at a height of up to 45 metres and travel a distance of 2.3 kilometres. The focus of the flight was to test the
drone technology and safety boundaries.
A prototype app that is being developed could allow customers to choose when to receive their package via drone.
SingPost, which claims to be the world’s first portal service to undertake such a trial, isn’t providing a specific timeline for when unmanned crafts will officially get on the payroll, but given today’s news we can assume that it has a pipeline for more tests before an eventual rollout.
Alibaba, which is an investor in SingPost, and Amazon are among a handful of companies to have piloted delivering merchandise via drone, but handling the mail — by definition, a daily job — is an equally compelling use case for drone tech. Not only does it help when difficult terrain or water physically stands in the way of delivering the mail, but, as SingPost points out, it allows workers be redeployed in other areas to increase efficiency.