Wingcopter in collaboration with the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) unveiled their groundbreaking project named “LieferMichel”. This initiative aims to provide quick, emission-free delivery of groceries and consumer goods to remote districts in Michelstadt, Hesse, using drones and cargo bikes. Supported by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with a funding of about €430,000, the project hopes to revolutionize local supply sustainably.
Initially, residents of Rehbach and Würzberg, situated outside Michelstadt, can order daily essentials like milk, eggs, and more through the website www.liefermichel.de. Wingcopter will then fly these goods to designated landing zones near these villages. From there, electric cargo bikes will ensure doorstep delivery. The local REWE store kickstarts the product offerings, but other retailers will join the platform in due course.
Frankfurt UAS will oversee the project’s scientific aspects, focusing on its economic and ecological impacts. They bring expertise in last-mile delivery using cargo bikes and light electric vehicles (LEV). Noteworthy collaborators include the city of Michelstadt, REWE, Vodafone, and Riese & Müller, which provides the e-bikes used in the project.
The necessity of this initiative stems from the closure of many local retailers in these villages over the years. Residents often travel over 10 kilometers for shopping. LieferMichel offers a sustainable solution for errands up to 4 kilograms, positioning drone delivery as an eco-friendly alternative to car travel.
With insights from this project, there’s hope to create a scalable model to enhance local supply in other German rural regions. The ambition is to provide quick, green, and reliable drone deliveries, bridging the gap between rural and urban amenities.
This pilot will continue until the end of 2023, with potential extensions based on its success.
Tom Plümmer, Wingcopter’s CEO, expresses pride in piloting Germany’s first drone delivery service for daily essentials. He envisions a green, efficient service benefiting rural communities. Prof. Dr. Kai-Oliver Schocke of Frankfurt UAS sees this as a win-win for residents and retailers. Michelstadt’s mayor, Dr. Tobias Robischon, applauds the innovative approach. REWE’s Dr. Robert Zores highlights their commitment to enhancing customer shopping experiences. Vodafone Germany’s Michael Reinartz underscores the vital role of their mobile technology in commercial drone flight. Lastly, Jörg Matheis of Riese & Müller celebrates the union of eco-friendly mobility solutions in the project.
Wingcopter is a German manufacturer of unmanned, all-electric delivery drones and provider of drone delivery services, specializing in enhancing medical supply chains and the logistics of urgently needed goods. The 150-strong team is dedicated to improving and saving lives worldwide through meaningful commercial and humanitarian applications. Wingcopter is a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and Global Innovator.
Thanks to its patented tilt-rotor mechanism and proprietary software algorithms, the Wingcopter 198 can take off and land vertically like a multicopter, while flying long distances as efficiently and quickly as a fixed-wing aircraft, even in rain and wind.
Wingcopter’s investors include the European Investment Bank, REWE Group, Salvia, XAI technologies, Xplorer Capital, Futury Capital, ITOCHU, DRONE FUND, SYNERJET, Expa, Hessen Kapital III, and Corecam Capital Partners.
Further information: www.wingcopter.com