Belgian start-up to test parcel delivery with drones in Mechelen

The Belgian start-up Drone Future will test deliveries and returns of parcels by drones early next year. The company will transport parcels from the site of postal company Bpost in Mechelen to the Flemish science centre Technopolis.

Companies like Amazon are increasingly using drones that drop packages at delivery locations, and Drone Future has now developed technology that allows drones to deliver and collect parcels via a smart mailbox. The service means people do not come into contact with the drone and there is no risk of the package being stolen or damaged. 

The system consists of a docking station and charging point, a battery changing system, an automatic lift and a smart mailbox. Drones could deliver parcels to a kind of locker, allowing them to be easily picked up by individuals or businesses, or pick up a parcel to be returned after notification via an app. This is not yet possible with existing drone deliveries. 

The company will test the system from early next year. Drones will fly from the Bpost site in Mechelen to Technopolis and back with a load of up to 5kg. "If the pilot project is evaluated positively, we will increase the volume on that route and have more parcels delivered and returned," a company spokesperson said. "Eventually, we want to create the first commercial flight route."


#FlandersNewsService | Drone Future founders Kris Rottiers and Bart Goovaerts present their pilot project on autonomous drone deliveries © BELGA PHOTO MAAIKE TIJSSENS

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