Russia’s inaugural parcel delivery drone crashed into a wall on Monday, stunning residents and politicians gathered at the ceremony christening its first flight. According to Reuters, the drone, with estimated cost of about $US20,000 ($26,059), hovered for only “several seconds” before crashing into a wall and crumbling into pieces. No one was hurt in the crash.
Reuters reports the Russian Post announced plans for a drone delivery system in 2016 to connect remote parts of the country, such as the sparsely-populated city of Ulan-Ude in Siberia where the drone crashed. A government official told the news agency that Wi-Fi connections may have interfered with the device. It’s unclear how Monday’s crash will impact Russia’s plans for the delivery system, but the Russian Post is reportedly already “distancing” itself from the event.
Delivery drones are used worldwide in everything from emergency services in Rwanda to pizza delivery. They haven’t filled the skies in the US yet because of FAA regulations, but many companies are interested in the future of drones. Last month, Amazon was granted a patent for drones that use AI to recognise human gestures and certain phrases.