Germany's express delivery and mail company Deutsche Post DHL is testing a drone that could be used to deliver urgently needed goods to hard-to-reach places. The aircraft can carry up to 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds).
On Monday, the small pilotless helicopter flew a package of medicine from a pharmacy in the former West German capital, Bonn, toDeutsche Post DHL
headquarters on the other side of the Rhine River. Nicknamed the "Paketkopter," or packet copter, the small robot with four rotor blades has a range of 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) and is allowed to fly no more than 100 meters (330 feet) above the ground.
Company spokesman Thomas Kutsch says that test flights scheduled for this week come as part of a research project to see whether the technology works and that Deutsche Post DHL has no plans yet to start actual drone deliveries. The test flights require permission from local aviation authorities.
The online retailerAmazon
has alsobegun working on a drone
despite legal obstacles to such delivery in the United States, its home country.
mkg/mz (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)