Don't look now, but Canada might just join the likes of France and the UK in ushering in the courier drone era. Transport Canada has approved its first drone test range near the tiny village of Foremost, Alberta, clearing the way for Drone Delivery Canada to launch a robotic cargo service as soon as late 2017. The roughly 927 square miles will help DDC prove that its drones can haul goods across long distances using satellite guidance. Tests with the company's early partners should start sometime in the first quarter of the year. The drone delivery system could be more important for Canada than it would be for other nations.
Delivery drones have more than a few challenges, not the least of which is dropping off the package in a convenient place. Do you really want to head out to your yard to collect a box? You might not have to. Advanced Tactics has successfully tested delivery with a drone, the Panther sUAS Air/Ground Robot, that can both fly and drive up to your door. When it's too dangerous or costly to travel by air, the machine just has to touch down and wheel its way to its destination.
Amazon apparently won't be the only company offering drone delivery service: The United Postal Service could follow suit. UPS announced Tuesday it had successfully tested out a drone for residential delivery, a press release said. The company worked with Workhorse Group, a manufacturing company that created both the drone and the electric UPS car used to test the flight. The test drone successfully flew to its designated location, dropped off the package and then proceeded on its delivery route. The drone tested could carry up to 10 pounds.
Add this to the list of feats 3D printers can perform: Fully functioning robots made out of liquid. Look, up in the sky! A new UAV service wants to give local vendors, such as restaurants, minimarts, and coffee shops, the ability to deliver products locally by drone. The deliveries will cost 3 each and the drones will travel to doorsteps up to six miles from participating vendor locations. "Drones-as-a-service" is booming, with businesses springing up to lease UAV hardware, software, and sensing technology to industries that require routine inspection and mapping, such as the energy sector.