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Australia tests mail delivery drones

The concept of a robot delivering your packages is that much closer to reality.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 18, 2016
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Reuters/Australia Post/Handout via Reuters

If you needed any further proof that drones can be mail couriers, you just got it. Australia Post has successfully field-tested a drone system that would deliver small packages, particularly time-sensitive goods like medication. It was only a closed test this time around, but the move clears a path for trial deliveries to real customers later in the year -- this isn't just a preview of long-term plans, like you've seen with other services.

The initiative should take delivery drones one step closer to legitimacy, but it'll also underscore the limits of current technology. Australia's vast size makes it unlikely that drones will provide anything approaching coast-to-coast coverage. They just don't have the range to deliver to a village hundreds of miles away from the nearest large town, unfortunately. Even if drone service takes off, rural dwellers will likely have to make do with old-school airmail and delivery trucks.

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