Vitamin Sea: First commercial drone delivery in Singapore takes flight

Homegrown startup F-drones has completed the first ever commercial Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone delivery in Singapore on April 19, the company said in a press statement.

The drone delivered 2kg of vitamins over 2.7km in 7 minutes, to a ship managed by Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS).

In Singapore, like in most parts of the world, a BVLOS authorisation or permit is required when operating drones beyond the visual range of drone pilots. Without which, commercial drone delivery services would not be viable, F-drones said, adding that it is the first company in Singapore authoritsed to conduct BVLOS drone deliveries to ships in the country. 

For now, this is limited to drone deliveries to ships anchored south of the marina area.

Started little more than a year ago, F-drones is a Singapore firm that develops large-scale delivery drones which are fully electric and autonomous. The goal is to eventually deploy the drones to send 100kg loads over 100km to ships and offshore platforms.

This would help alleviate the pain of sending supplies in marine & offshore applications, which rely on small boats and helicopters. 

“These traditional means of transport are expensive, slow, labour and carbon intensive," said Nicolas Ang, CEO of F-drones.

"F-drones’ solutions can help save up to 80 per cent of the costs, time and carbon dioxide emissions. Besides being efficient, delivery drones can also reduce unnecessary human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic."​