If pilot projects from companies like Bizzby and DHL Parcel are any indication, the skies of Europe could soon be buzzing with parcel delivery drones. GeoPost, the express delivery arm of French mail service La Poste, has now revealed that it undertook drone delivery testing at the Centre d'Etudes et d'Essais pour Modèles Autonomes (CEEMA) in September.
As part of its ongoing GeoDrone project, GeoPost partnered with Atechsys to develop an electric delivery drone capable of autonomously transporting a parcel up to dimensions of 40 x 30 x 20 cm (16 x 12 x 8 in) and 4 kg (9 lb) in weight within a 20 km (12 mile) radius. The project is looking at the use of drones to access isolated areas such as mountains, islands and rural areas, as well as providing a means of responding to emergency situations.
Demonstrating the possible use of drones in real world conditions, the test involved automated take-off, flight phase, landing and return to base. Unfortunately, GeoPost hasn't released any specs on the prototype itself but we can tell you that the 3.7 kg (8.2 lb) six-rotor prototype is reported to have successfully transported a 2 kg (4.4 lb) package over a distance of 1,200 m (about 4,000 ft) at the CEEMA site in the south of France.
You can see the GeoDrone in flight in the (French language) video below.
Source: La Poste (in French)