The United Arab Emirates revealed plans for using miniature unmanned aircraft for government mail deliveries. For the first time in history, drones will be used for improving government services, delivering licenses, official documents and packages to the citizens, according to the announcement in Dubai on Monday.
The drone prototype was displayed on Monday in front of UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Hid Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum by Mohammed Al-Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs during the Virtual Future Exhibition conference in Dubai. It has been developed for the government by local engineer Abdulrahman Alserkal and resembles a butterfly with a top compartment carrying small parcels. It is about 18” wide, battery operated and propelled by four rotors. The white coloured drone is also emblazoned with the UAE flag and according to its designer, it will be secured with fingerprint and eye-recognition security systems.
The initial test run for the drones will be six months and it will be conducted in Dubai in order to test their durability and efficiency. Within a year, said Mr Al-Gergawi, the high-tech gadgets will be introduced across the UAE and will be used for delivering driving licenses, identity cards, various permits and official documents to the citizens.
The project may be the first of its kind, but it’s not revolutionary at all. In December, American online retailer Amazon announced they will be using delivery drones, revealing partial information on the aircraft itself. However, it’s not expected to be operational in the near future for a number of reasons, including problems with automatic control and spatial awareness. The UAE drone project will be facing the same difficulties, but here engineers will also have to cope with environmental factors like hot climate with temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in the summer and heavy sandstorms.
However, the UAE is known for its innovation and determination in completing seemingly impossible projects. The rich country is determined to push ahead with its plan and eventually accomplish its sci-fi project.