VertiKUL UAV Explores Practicalities of Delivery Drones

By Evan Ackerman



We’ve been skeptical about delivery drones ever since Amazon made it sound like delivery drones were 1.) easy and 2.) right around the corner. Realistically, there’s a huge amount of stuff that has to happen before delivery drones can work in practice; a lot of it is regulatory, but there are technical problems to be solved as well. Researchers at KU Leuven, in Belgium, have been working on some of these, including landing pads, cargo compartments, and range extension.


Take-offs and landings are probably going to be the trickiest part of this whole delivery drone business, and a landing pad is likely a necessity. These pads have optical patterns on them to enable precision visual landings, and arrays of LEDs light them up at night. Once the UAV gets close enough (GPS close), it can home in on the pad and make a touchdown…. [Read more]