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“Drone the hatch!” Deliveries by quadcopter proposed for London homes

As the race “hots up” over which drone companies may dominate the future home delivery business, how will packages be left if the property occupant is out, asks standard.co.uk.  Start-up Idu Group based in Exeter, Devon has “a cunning plan.” Smart skylight hatches built into house roofs are being developed by the company, so that parcels can be successfully delivered whether the customer is at home or away.

The company hopes the innovation can assist in cutting the time it takes for internet shopping to arrive in 30 minutes after ordering. It is testing the “smart drop boxes” built into buildings, that contain wireless receivers to communicate with the drone and beam updates to the owner’s smart speaker. The delivery of a parcel could be signed off electronically, ending the disruption of having to be at home to receive it.

Idu Group believe allowing a drone to air drop rather than land will help them to fly longer and make more deliveries. The smart skylights are being prototyped before manufacture next year. Kevin Duckers, the firm’s co-founder, said, “The environmental impact is better than the man-in-a-van. It’s the convenience of being able to attain that parcel in 30 minutes.”

While delivery drones remain illegal in built-up areas under Civil Aviation Authority rules, it is expected regulations could be relaxed in future, especially if there are future Covid-19 lockdowns. The UK Government this year announced UKP28 million funding for tests of commercial quadcopters to drop medical supplies to frontline health workers fighting coronavirus.

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(News Source: https://www.standard.co.uk)

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