• Flying high

    Flying high

    Around this time next year, Rwanda could have its very first drone port and cargo robot route. The proposed project by research organisation Afrotech and UK-based design firm Foster + Partners will see drones being used to deliver cargo to the country’s rural communities, where road access is notoriously poor.

    As reported by the Mail & Guardian, at present the small, pilotless aircraft are able to carry around just 9 kg. However, Afrotech (a department of Swiss research university Lausanne Polytechnic that was specifically set up to pioneer advanced technologies in sub-Saharan Africa) believes that by 2020, technology will more than double load capacity to 20 kg and for distances spanning several hundred kilometres.

    Many companies, including big names such as Google and Amazon, have already looked into the commercial viability of drones, and over the next decade, drones could quite possibly account for up to 15% of the continent’s transport sector.

    6 October 2015
    Image: Boris Horvat/AFP