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Volocopter and DB Schenker prepare for VoloDrone cargo ops

Volocopter and global logistics provider DB Schenker have completed a static proof of concept on the way to creating a “blueprint” for VoloDrone logistics operations.

DB Schenker began collaborating with Volocopter in mid-2019 and was announced as one of the German eVTOL developer’s Series C investors last year. The companies are working together on development of the fully electric VoloDrone, a cargo drone variant of Volocopter’s 18-rotor multicopter that will be able to transport a 200-kilogram (440-pound) payload up to 40 kilometers (25 miles).

Their static proof of concept was conducted at the exhibition center Messe Stuttgart with the support of Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics. The research teams simulated the VoloDrone integration in a logistics network by examining ground processes for coding goods, assessing safe cargo loads and goods, and testing automated supply of the drone through autonomous mobile robots provided by DB Schenker partner Gideon Brothers.

Volocopter DB Schenker VoloDrone
Volocopter unveiled its utility VoloDrone in late 2019. Package delivery is a primary use case for the eVTOL cargo drone. Volocopter Photo

The teams also examined processes for transporting and loading cargo to identify safe, standard procedures for ground personnel. According to a press release, the blueprint derived from these results will serve as a basis for integrating VoloDrone operations in logistics networks across the globe.

“By developing a blueprint for VoloDrone operations, Volocopter is leading the way into the next dimension of transport logistics with tangible and operational data backing our service claims,” said Volocopter chief commercial officer Christian Bauer. Once finalized, the blueprint will be available for project partners under a non-disclosure agreement.

“The VoloDrone unlocks new possibilities for the logistics industry, and it represents a key element for DB Schenker’s innovation and sustainability roadmap for logistics,” stated Erik Wirsing, DB Schenker’s global head of innovation.

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