Most delivery drones being tested currently are small and lightweight and can be picked with one hand, with payloads usually comprising medicines or snacks. Volocopter, however, has designed a much bigger drone-like machine that can lift heavy payloads.
In VoloDrone’s first-ever public flight, the German firm showcased the vehicle’s airworthiness and how it can be deployed for cargo transportation. The test was carried out in partnership with a logistics company and Volocopter investor DG Schenker, the demo involved a typical drone-delivery operation such as launch, flight, loading, and unloading.
Carrying up to 200 kg payloads
The VoloDrone electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) was first showcased two years ago as a solution for carrying bigger payloads, with the aircraft capable of being controlled remotely and flying autonomously as well.
Since then, the company has had to refine the design of the vehicle. It has seen the addition of a robust container to replace the cargo-carrying net. The VoloDrone can fly up to 40 km and carry a weight of 200 kg which moving at a top speed of 80 kph.
While the drone might not be delivering big TV sets or other bulky stuff, it can come in handy for b2b operations such as carrying inventory to remote areas. The vehicle can be useful to get vital supplies to remote areas impacted by disasters or places such as construction sites.
Other drones also coming into mainstream
Besides, drone-delivery specialist Wing recently finished over 100,000 drone deliveries since the launch of its trial services. These deliveries were made across regions in the world in September 2019. Now, the Alphabet-owned firm has unveiled a new aircraft that is used to make those deliveries.
Until now, the company makes use of two aircraft designs for its drone-delivery services. The first packs 12 hover motors and two cruise motors to make it faster for the two aircraft, while the second design features four cruise motors and a slightly longer wing.