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There are innovations that have been on the verge of a final breakthrough for years - but to date, no refrigerator has placed a meaningful order for the purpose of self-filling. Elsewhere, people seem to be further ahead. Emqopter GmbH, a spin-off of the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, recently announced that the fully automated delivery of mail and parcels by drone could very soon become a reality. Emqopter, which now has more than 20 employees, has already been researching and developing various possible applications for flying robots, particularly in logistics, for more than five years. The drones, which the company calls Qopter, are already being used in a number of areas, where they make everyday life easier. For example, inspection flights in places that are difficult to access, such as high-voltage lines or canals, can be carried out cost-effectively and safely. However, the core area, which Emqopter is also specifically working towards, is still delivery services. The concept seems predestined for the delivery of a wide variety of small goods, such as mail, parcels or time-critical medical supplies like vaccines or blood samples.

A toast to the flat roof

Meanwhile, the intelligent landing site detection technology developed and patented by Dr. Nils Gageik, founder and CEO of Emqopter GmbH, enables the drone to autonomously detect obstacles in the landing area and avoid collisions with them in real time. However, the fact that the drone itself can land safely is only the first step, but how does the delivery ultimately get to the recipient without much effort? This is where the latest project of the Würzburg-based startup comes into play: the intelligent drone mailbox, which was developed with funding from the Free State of Bavaria and already has a patent pending. This is a design for any flat-roof building that essentially consists of a drone with an intelligent transport box and a customized robotic delivery system. This system is designed to unload the drone fully automatically and then transfer the shipment to a conveyor belt, which transports it inside the building. There, the delivery can then be received conveniently and easily, comparable to a suitcase at the airport.

Drone port included

In order to do justice to the expansive character of Emqopter GmbH, the company is also currently working on the construction of a new company headquarters including a drone port. Emqopter is supported in this project both by the mayor of Volkach, where the new headquarters are to be built, and by entrepreneur and investor Michael Mühleck, the founder and owner of the modern fitness chain FitOne. The latter is enthusiastic about the concept and has already invested a considerable amount in both the visionary project and the company itself.