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Germany’s DHL delivers medicine by drone

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Germany’s postal service has completed its first drone-based package delivery, successfully using a “Paketkopter” to carry a pack of medicine from a Bonn pharmacy to the Deutsche Post (DHL) headquarters a kilometer away.

When Amazon(s amzn) announced its own drone delivery plans (pictured above) just over a week ago, DHL was quick to say that it too was already developing a similar scheme. Monday’s maiden flight proves this to be true. However, Germany’s airspace rules remain unclear on drones, and this flight required a special permit.

According to Deutsche Welle, DHL currently has no plans to actually launch drone-based deliveries. This was just a trial to check the technological feasibility of the idea.

In that case, medicine was a great choice. It’s light, which is handy as drones aren’t very strong. It’s also something that could plausibly merit very urgent delivery — delivering stuff via drone only makes economic sense when time is of the essence, due to fuel costs and the fact that drones will probably only be able to carry one package at a time.

One Response to “Germany’s DHL delivers medicine by drone”

  1. The recent Amazon feasibilty test for drone delivery made it very clear that this is not an expensive option for delivering a package, as the article here erroneously states, compared with the existing cost implications. A lot hinges on the power-density of the batteries used, which is becoming greater by the month. Robots could easily be programmed to extract the package from a dedicated distribution centre, and subsequently to affix it to the ‘copter.