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Postal Drones to Deliver Mail in Germany, Switzerland

The cities of Bern, Köniz and Biberist in Switzerland and Hamburg and Düsseldorf in Germany will see the quirky six-wheeled robots used to deliver either dummy parcels or mail in the coming weeks.

Swiss Post, Hermes and Media Markt have partnered with Starship Technologies to trial the almost fully autonomous robots. The devices are designed for door-to-door deliveries within 30 minutes over a 5km radius.

Following test runs and a phase to map the city, Hermes hopes to have three robots operating autonomously in Hamburg by the end of September to take requests from registered test customers. The three month trial will see robots buzzing between specific parcel shops in Hamburg, with a similar trial phase expected in Düsseldorf between Media Markt chains over the same period.

With the ability to deliver in 30 minutes within a five-kilometer (three-mile) radius, the battery-powered robots do offer a personal option for costumers on the go. And that’s certainly intrigued the Hamburg-based company.

Starship Technologies, founded in Estonia by PayPal co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, have already tested the R2D2 look-a-likes in over 42 cities across 12 countries.

The London-based Starship Technologies boasts that their creation can mount curbs of up to 20 centimeters and make its way through snow of a similar height. And with nine cameras, two-way audio, an alarm and a lock on the lid that can only be opened by a specific pin number sent to the customer, they’re confident that you’ll never lose your mail or takeaway. -DW.com

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