Thanks to our drone ZF is now the first company in Germany to use automated drones to transport goods on its plant premises. The drone prototype with a custom user interface and a 4G LTE solution has recently started flying spare parts such as sensors or control cards from the central warehouse to workshops. As soon as the test flights are complete and drones properly deployed, such flights will relieve vehicle traffic at the plant and save time on the up to one kilometer-long delivery routes that are often on the upper floors of buildings.
The 30 km/h hexacopter can transport up to three kilograms payload and offers around 30 to 40 minutes of electrical flight operation. It is a safe and redundant system which is of course water and dust proofed.
The automated drone flights would not be possible without the official approvals for automated drone flights from the Stuttgart Regional Administrative Authority and the German Air Traffic Control DFS. Drones, mostly equipped with cameras, could until now only be used privately or commercially for tasks such as mapping, monitoring factory fences or surveying. This is now the first case in Germany where automated drones are used to transport goods on plant premises.