SkyDrive tests cargo drones for heavy loads
Japanese start-up SkyDrive, which is developing ‘flying cars’, has successfully tested a cargo drone to transport heavy loads to remote locations.
The first operational testing took place in December 2019 in Toyota City, Japan. It was carried out to test the technology by moving heavy equipment in remote locations. Additional testing will follow.
For now, the new technology has been tested with a load capacity of 30kg, utilizing SkyDrive’s world-leading aircraft development technology to achieve high safety standards. There is the potential to develop this further and achieve greater capacity loads of up to 50kg and 80kg, according to demand.
The cargo drone, which flies at up to 40km/h for 15 mins, also has the potential to change the way products are moved from manufacturers to warehouses and onto depots and revolutionize the way heavy goods are transported, according to the company.
SkyDrive Chief Executive Tomohiro Fukuzawa explained: “We are delighted to successfully test this world-leading technology. Our cargo drone has proven to deliver by safely lifting loads of up to 20kg in a mountainous area, saving time and money.
"We look forward to expanding on this success by testing heavier loads for customers in the future. Our quest is to create cutting-edge technology that will improve the productivity of businesses across the world, and today we celebrate a key milestone in making that happen.”
Generally, SkyDrive is developing the cargo drone for use in industries that carry heavy materials on complex terrain such as slopes, mountain valleys, overpasses, power transmission towers, civil engineering/construction sites, agricultural fields, etc.
Usage of cargo drones will help avoid dangerous work, save personnel and shorten the term of works. SkyDrive can thus contribute to responding to labour shortages and improving Japan’s labour productivity which is sagging due to its declining population.