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Pablo Air logistics drone delivers to Korean islands
- June 16, 2020
- Steve Rogerson
South Korean company Pablo Air is developing a logistics drone to deliver packages from Incheon Port to islands and mountains. It is expected to enter commercial service next year.
Package delivery from Incheon to nearby islands is currently conducted using ten passenger ship routes. However, Pablo Air, a member company of the Born2Global Centre, plans to use its unmanned aerial vehicles to enable a higher-efficiency logistics service and bridge the gap in services between regions. This should eliminate the regional inequality in logistics for daily goods.
Selected for Incheon’s logistics robot promotion programme, Pablo Air supplies an integrated drone delivery platform using vertical takeoff and landing drones based on drone swarm technology. These use logistics drone operating software that is tailored to the characteristics of Incheon, which has an airport and numerous ports and industrial complexes.
Pablo Air is based in Incheon Port and is developing a drone platform capable of operating 100 logistics drones at one time, offering delivery services by air to island regions. It demonstrated Korea’s first trial of long-range drone operation up to 57.5km. Next year, it is planning to make a 40-to-50km test flight from Incheon Port to Jawoldo and Ijakdo islands in Woongjin County. Incheon Port Authority will provide an area exclusively for the takeoff and landing of drones in island areas and major port facilities in Incheon.
“With its airport, ports, industrial complexes and free economic zone, Incheon is well-suited for the development of demand for logistics drones and demonstration of the technology,” said a port official. “We aim to fill in the logistics void in island regions by utilising Incheon Port’s logistics infrastructure and drone technology.”
Founded in 2018, Pablo Air is a developer of unmanned aerial software and hardware. It was the first Korean company to conduct a long-distance overseas drone delivery, which covered 57.5km and took one hour and 56 minutes. Its core business is the development of drone swarm platforms.
Established by graduate and doctoral researchers in aerial technology, Pablo Air secured KRW3bn in series A funding in collaboration with Lee Soo-man, chief producer of SM Entertainment, and the KTB Network. It has completed the development of its own drone hardware and is working on software that integrates manned and unmanned drones. It is also pursuing projects in areas such as drone swarm technology-based logistics, disaster monitoring and smart city environment monitoring.