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Amazon relies on research from Austria for its delivery drones

FACC building © FACC/Gortana

The topic of deliveries from the air using drones has already been a subject of discussion at the online retail giant Amazon since the year 2013. In 2016, graduates of the Graz University of Technology already worked on a special research project contracted by Amazon. The Austrian researchers were given the task of teaching drones to see. More specifically, the challenge was to equip drones with image processing and object recognition capabilities in order to prevent collisions in the air. Now the Austrian aerospace industrial group FACC will serve as a supplier for Amazon. The autonomous aerial vehicle EHang 216, an autonomous air taxi manufactured by FACC, is part of a comprehensive testing programme and has already concluded successful test flights since 2020. The EHang 216 is a vertical take-off and landing air vehicle propelled by sixteen high-performance electric motors mounted on eight double rotor arms and which operates in a carbon emission-free manner. Lightweight structures developed by FACC ensure low weight and excellent aerodynamics. The range of the EHang 216 is about 40 kilometres, featuring a maximum cargo capacity of 220 kilogrammes and a cruising speed of 130 kilometres per hour.

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