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Belgian students build delivery drone

10:59 30/07/2014

Students from the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven) have successfully built an unmanned aircraft that can pick up a package and deliver it to a destination up to 30km away. For their master’s thesis, students Cyriel Notteboom, Menno Hochstenbach and Maarten Verbandt were given the assignment to build a fully functioning drone; One year later, their finished piece made its maiden flight.

The drone, dubbed VertiKUL, is different from a traditional drone in that it takes off vertically using propellers much like a helicopter, but then flies like an airplane. This unique manoeuvrability allows the drone to fly much further on a full battery than drones that continue to fly like a helicopter. With its four engines, it can reach a maximum speed of 60km per hour.

VertiKUL can travel within a radius of 30 km and carry package of more than a kilo. And it operates autonomously, taking off and landing on target using GPS signals.

Written by Robyn Boyle