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Explained: India Post pilot run brings it another step closer to drone delivery

The drone flight delivered a parcel in the Kutch region of Gujarat, travelling a distance of 46 km in less than 30 minutes. In a statement, TechEagle said that this was five times faster than the speed of surface transportation.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 7, 2022 1:31:38 pm
The VTOL drone has the capability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter from a small area of 5mx5m. (Representational)

In what potentially lays the ground for postal delivery by drones, Gurugram-based drone startup TechEagle has successfully delivered a parcel this week in Gujarat under a pilot project in collaboration with India post.

What was the delivery?

The drone flight delivered a parcel in the Kutch region of Gujarat, travelling a distance of 46 km in less than 30 minutes. In a statement, TechEagle said that this was five times faster than the speed of surface transportation. Notably, the drone delivery was among the longest single delivery flights made by a drone in the country. It travelled when the windspeed was up to 30 kmph.

Which drone did TechEagle use?

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Last month, the company launched a hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone called ‘VertiplaneX3’ with a payload capacity of 3 kg, a range of 100 km and a top speed of 120 kmph. The VTOL drone has the capability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter from a small area of 5mx5m.

What was the purpose of the pilot project?

Anshu Abhishek, co-founder-COO at TechEagle, said that the project was aimed at enabling faster deliveries across the country, be it in urban cities or any rural village. “The learnings from the project would help stakeholders to scale up and commercialise the drone delivery of mail across the country,” he added.

Are there other drone delivery trials happening across the country?

Yes, Bengaluru-based logistics and delivery platform Swiggy last month commenced deployment of drones on a trial basis to make deliveries from its grocery service Instamart. For these trials, which are being conducted in two phases, the company has roped in four ‘drone-as-a-service’ operators, of which TechEagle is one. Several other drone operators have partnered with state governments and other authorities to conduct trials of vaccines and healthcare supplies deliveries through drones. Logistics services company Delhivery in December announced the acquisition of California-based Transition Robotics, which develops drone platforms. Globally, internet giant Alphabet’s drone delivery unit Wing recently delivered its first consignment in a major US metropolitan area by supplying boxes of medicines from Walgreens in Dallas, Texas.

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First published on: 05-06-2022 at 01:28:43 pm
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