Japanese firm flight tests cargo drone

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Drone-developer SkyDrive has successfully conducted the first flight tests of its cargo drone in Toyota City, Japan.

The multi-rotor drone, which is 1.3m long, 1.7 wide and 1m high can carry payloads of up to 30kg at speeds of up to 40km/h and flew for up to 15 minutes during the tests. The drone is equipped with a winch mechanism to move cargo up and down without landing.

The first operational tests, which took place earlier this month moved heavy equipment in a remote location. More flight tests are planned to be carried out before the end of this month.

The cargo drone was tested with loads of 30kg and the company plans to develop it to carry loads of up to 80kg. The drone is designed to move cargo to remote locations and from manufacturers to warehouses and depots.

SkyDrive is developing the cargo drone for use in industries where heavy materials need to be transported across complex terrains such as slopes, mountain valleys, overpasses, power transmission towers, civil engineering/construction sites and agricultural fields, etc.

SkyDrive’s CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said, “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 technology that will improve the productivity of businesses across the world — and today we celebrate a key milestone in making that happen.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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