Under a demonstration project, Singapore’s ST Engineering used its unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to make food deliveries to crew aboard a PACC Offshore Services Holdings’ (POSH) vessel offshore Singapore
In a social media post, ST Engineering said the project was “advancing one big step towards the future of food deliveries by drones.”
Using its DroNet UAS solution, ST Engineering collaborated with specialty food delivery service Foodpanda to deliver ayam penyet, a popular local chicken dish, from the Marina South Pier to POSH crew members on board an offshore support vessel 3 km offshore. The drone delivery service, dubbed pandaFly, took just under 10 minutes.
Singapore-based POSH, part of the Kuok Group, owns a fleet of some 100 vessels to serve ocean and harbour towing, offshore support, subsea, construction, accommodation and offshore renewable sectors.
“Innovation is part of our DNA and the use of drones is an area that POSH is actively studying as part of our innovation roadmap,” said POSH general manager, COE (innovation) Danny Chong in a social media post. “We see endless possibilities in shore to ship delivery and look forward to working with more partners to disrupt the offshore marine sector,” said Mr Chong.
“With a growing list of potential customers and collaborators, we look forward to introducing game-changing enhancements to last-mile deliveries and bringing forth the future of autonomous operations by drones to solve real-world problems,” said ST Engineering.
ST Engineering is working with Wilhelmsen Ships Service on UAS operations for shore-to-ship parcel deliveries within Singapore.
Delivering 3D printed parts
Using drones for delivery of certain supplies instead of launch boats could reduce costs for vessel operators. Wilhelmsen Ships Service has called drones a ‘game changer.’ In June, its Wilhelmsen Marine Products unit announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Singapore-based F-drones for the delivery of 3D printed parts.
Wilhelmsen head of venture 3D printing Hakon Ellekjaer, said, “Exploring safe, reliable and inexpensive alternatives for last-mile delivery of our 3D printed parts to our customers is key for us moving forward. F-Drones is actively developing a solution and their ambitions are very much aligned with our own, to disrupt the existing supply chain and offer a service that is faster, cheaper and greener.”
F-drones’ current drone system is capable of carrying 5 kg over a distance of 50 km but has ambitions to develop a larger-scale drone capable of delivering 100 kg to vessels up to 100 km away.
In December 2019, as part of an early adopter programme for 3D printed marine spare parts, Wilhelmsen’s Marine Products division signed up six shipping companies – Berge Bulk, Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Executive Ship Management and Wilhelmsen Ship Management – to begin using on-demand additive manufacturing.