Researchers at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden have conducted the country´s first aerial food delivery. The flight was autonomous (self driving) and beyond visual line of sight. The drone flew from a restaurant on the outskirts of Linköping city and into Linköping University.
It was a relatively short linear distance, but an important milestone in showing that fossil-free aerial transport can be performed by drones within a near future, says Andreas Gising, project manager at RISE.
The challenge has been to create the technical solution, develop and test a new safety system and acquiring the permit from the Swedish NAA (Transportstyrelsen) required for flights Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). This research project is promoted and supported by the EU innovation agency EIT Digital and is an activity for producing and commercialising technologies for autonomous warehouses and autonomous deliveries.
Safety is the most crucial part in a system like this. We have performed hundreds of verifying flights during the year to ensure the reliability of the system, says Rasmus Lundqvist, a researcher in Autonomous Systems at RISE and operations manager for the flights.
RISE has developed a new safety system called Drone Safety Service to be able to perform the missions, a system that could be used by many actors in the drone business and also in future research projects.