|Posti’s experimental package delivery UAS. Photo: Posti
[Avionics Today 09-03-2015] Finland’s mail service, Posti, launched a four-day experiment starting Sept. 2 to test an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in the delivery of e-commerce.
In the experiment, Posti will be testing a robotic helicopter in delivery and transport tasks for the first time in Finland, and for the first time in Europe in an inhabited urban environment. The robotic helicopter will fly in Helsinki, between the mainland and the island of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The robotic helicopter will carry parcels to Suomenlinna. The flight distance, on average, between the mainland and Suomenlinna is approximately 4 km. This experiment only includes parcels of suitable dimensions. All other mail, such as letters and publications, will be delivered by boat as usual.
"New technologies make online shopping quicker and easier for both senders and recipients. We want to experiment with different delivery options which are feasible in Finland and increase the customers' freedom of choice," says Jukka Rosenberg, senior vice president of the parcel and logistics services at Posti.
Posti's industry partners in the robotic helicopter experiment include Sharper Shape, which is responsible for the technology and operation of the drone, and Verkkokauppa.com. The experiment has been authorized by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) operating under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.