Singapore Post trials island-hopping delivery-by-drone program

You thought the USPS had it tough with all that rain, sleet, snow and hail they have to deal with? Try delivering mail throughout the Malay archipelago, the world's largest island chain. However, the Singapore Post thinks it may have a solution: Fly parcels between islands on the backs of UAVs. To that end, the mail service recently trialled the concept by successfully shipping two items from mainland Singapore to neighboring Pulau Ubin.

The 2km flight took just five minutes to complete and delivered both a letter and packaged shirt. The customized drone is based on the Pixhawk Steadidrone platform. It can handle up to a half kilo of cargo and fly as far as 2.3 kilometers. The Singapore Post collaborated with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to develop the delivery system.

"Although it will be a while before it is viable for drone mail delivery to take off in Singapore, taking into consideration commercial and safety factors," IDA Managing Director Jacqueline Poh said in a statement. "This first step by SingPost and IDA demonstrates what Singapore is trying out with our Smart Nation vision – to have the various parts of our ecosystem collaborate, experiment with new ways of doing things, and in the process, literally aim for the sky with new technology."