Last year, automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG was the very first company to obtain approval to transport goods by drone on factory premises. The company is therefore now deploying a hexacopter with a speed of 30 km/h and maximum load capacity of 3 kg to transport spare parts such as sensors and control cards from Plant 2 to its individual workshops. The drone is programmed in such a way that it mainly flies over the roofs of plant buildings and only crosses sidewalks where there is no alternative. The objective is to leverage the drones to minimize the number of delivery vehicles required and reduce delivery times.
From a research point of view, the topic is of interest to the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) gGmbH , where scientists are working on the DroMaTra project, which aims to make drones safe enough for deployment in factory buildings. The economic and logistical potential of the use of drones and the technical and legal risks are just some of the aspects being explored.