The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Oct. 13 held a demonstration of a noncontact delivery service featuring drones and autonomous robots on Jangdo Island off the coast of Yeosu, Jeollanam-do Province. The photo shows a delivery robot used at the event. (GS Caltex)

By Kim Young Deok and Yoon Sojung
Video = GX Caltex

A drone on the morning of Oct. 13 flew high over a gas station in the Soho-dong neighborhood of Yeosu, Jeollanam-do Province. After loading a few items, the drone automatically ascended to about 80 m and crossed the sea to arrive on Jangdo Island 900 m from the mainland.

When it approached a grassy field on the island, it descended vertically until it was 1 m from the ground and landed.

An autonomous robot was waiting for the drone and when the latter arrived, the robot opened its cargo box so that the drone could drop its load and return to the gas station. The robot then traveled 700 m to its final destination of Creative Studio. Delivery time took about 10 minutes.

This was the noncontact delivery service featuring drones and robots that was jointly demonstrated by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.

The event showed the nation's first delivery service that uses drones and autonomous robots.

Having demonstrated in June a lunchbox delivery service using drones on Jeju Island, the ministry this time made an upgrade from the previous event by adding robots to overcome the limited accessibility of drones in places deemed hard to approach, such as crowded areas or indoors.

The drones were made by Neon Tech and the robots by Unmanned Solution. A drone can load up to 5 kg of items and fly 30-60 km per hour for up to 30 minutes. A robot can hold up to 150 kg of cargo and run for up to five hours at a speed of 5 km per hour.

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