Singapore based F-drones has successfully completed what the company says is the first commercial night drone delivery.
F-drones is filling a significant need with drone delivery. Working in the maritime sector, F-drones offers on-demand drone delivery to ships in port. The application offers a tremendous benefit in time and cost savings for deliveries which might normally have to be postponed until a larger load can be brought by boat. Maritime drone delivery also has a great safety case, working over waters and avoiding permanent structures and people. Use cases first demonstrated commercially in a maritime setting could benefit the entire drone industry as companies like F-drones accumulate safety data.
Night operation is generally prohibited without special permission around the world. F-drones made the first commercial drone delivery at night on 1 November 2020 to Berge Sarstein, owned by Berge Bulk. “F- drones helped to send a 3D printed critical part weighing 3 kilograms over 5 kilometers within 7 minutes. The payload was the world’s first 3D Printed CE-Certified Lifting Tool from Wartsila, sent in partnership with Wilhelmsen Group,” says a press release. “This milestone further establishes F-drones as the pioneer in maritime last mile deliveries using drones.”
“Globally, commercial drone deliveries are limited to daylight hours, due to the additional technical and operational challenges associated with night operations. F-drones’ achievement is a monumental step forward in enabling on-demand deliveries to vessels 24×7.”
Drone delivery at night is particularly critical for the maritime industry, as ports operate 24 hours. “One of the possibilities that this opens up is the delivery of urgent items at night, such as critical spare parts and medicine,” points out the press release. “With its drone solution, the items can be delivered within minutes, and can be a safer option compared to taking a boat out and sending items up a pilot ladder/gangway at night!”
F-drones is ready to move on from night drone delivery to autonomous flights of it’s proprietary drone, Hyperlaunch. Since the beginning of the year, F-drones has completed more than 100 autonomous flights with Hyperlaunch. Hyperlaunch can deliver 5kg loads over 50km, a significant reach. “It boasts an ability to carry the largest payload size in its class and has achieved top speeds of 144 kmph,” says the press release. Hyperlaunch is scheduled for official release mid-2021. “Hyperlaunch is another key milestone of F-drones, as a scaled-down version of its drone that would ultimately be able to deliver 100kg loads over 100km,” says the company.
“Traditional means of transport are expensive, slow, labour and carbon intensive. F-drones’ solutions aid the maritime industry to reduce 80% of the costs, time and CO2 emissions. Besides being efficient, delivery drones can also reduce unnecessary human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Nicolas Ang, Co-founder of F-drones.