In a bid to reduce human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore resumed its first drone delivery service on Wednesday (29 April).
The drones, created by a Singapore-based startup F-drones, delivered vitamins to a ship owned by The Eastern Pacific Shipping on 19 April.
It took only seven minutes to fly as far as 2.7 kilometres to reach the ship. F-drones’ vehicles are also reportedly able to carry goods weighing a maximum of 5 kilos in a single trip.
F-drones has obtained a license from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
F-drones started its operations more than a year ago, aimed at offering the most efficient, eco-friendly delivery services by using autonomous and electric drones.
Delivering goods to busy ports may be time-consuming and costly, as it relies on helicopters and small boats.
“These traditional means of transport are expensive, slow, labour and carbon-intensive. F-drones’ solutions can help save up to 80% of the costs, time, and CO2 emissions.
“Besides being efficient, delivery drones can also reduce unnecessary human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nicolas Ang, CEO of F-drones.
The company is planning to develop 100-kilogram drones for 100-kilometre trips in the second half of 2021.
F-drones has just developed its latest prototype called Hyperlaunch, which is capable of delivering 5-kilograms goods over 50-kilometer to ships.
Hyperlaunch, which will resume its commercial operation at the end of 2020, is seen as the most efficient product for the shipping sector.
The drone service may be useful as Singapore extends its circuit breaker measures to 1 June.
Separately in the U.S, the United Parcel Service (UPS) and CVS are planning to use drones to deliver medications to a retirement community in Florida affected by the lockdown.