SingPost, the national postal service in Singapore, has just successfully trialed physical mail and parcel delivery using a drone.
A drone built using the Pixhawk Steadidrone platform by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) Labs carried a letter and t-shirt over a distance of two kilometres in five minutes to the Singaporean island of Pulau Ubin.
SingPost notes that the drone “is complemented with a prototype app designed with security and verification features that ensures the mail reaches its intended recipient.”
Of course, it will be a while before drones are pressed into service across the island nation.
IDA managing director Jacqueline Poh said:
Although it will be a while before it is viable for drone mail delivery to take off in Singapore, taking into consideration commercial and safety factors; this first step by SingPost and IDA demonstrates what Singapore is trying out with our Smart Nation vision – to have the various parts of our ecosystem collaborate, experiment with new ways of doing things, and in the process, literally aim for the sky with new technology.
It’s one of the world’s first attempts to deliver mail using drones. Swiss Post recently conducted similar tests in Switzerland in order to explore the possibilities of using drones for shipping parcels in emergency situations and to remote areas.
➤ Singpost collaborates with IDA to develop first drone for mail delivery [SingPost (PDF)]