Sunday, July 21, 2024

Try Delivery Services Not Just At Your Doorstep, But At the Edge of World’s Highest Peaks

Have you ever envisioned the luxury of summoning a delivery service at an altitude of 6,000 meters?

This is no longer a figment of imagination but a tangible reality, as cutting-edge drone technology makes its way to the towering realms of Mount Everest, transforming the delivery experience in the most elevated of locales.

DJI has teamed up with Nepalese drone service company Airlift, video production company 8KRAW, and Nepalese certified mountain guide Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, to fly the world’s first successful delivery drone trials on Mount Everest (Mount Qomolangma).

During the tests, three oxygen bottles and 1.5kg of other supplies were flown from Everest Base Camp to Camp 1 (5,300-6,000m ASL). On the return trip trash was carried back down.

For the first time, drones have successfully completed the round-trip transportation of equipment and trash between Everest Base Camp and Camp 1. These camps are separated by the Khumbu Icefall, one of the most perilous stages of the ascent. While helicopters can theoretically make the same journey, they are rarely used due to the significant dangers and costs.

Traditionally, the responsibility of transporting supplies and clearing trash on Everest has fallen on the shoulders of local Sherpa guides who may need to cross the icefall over 30 times in a season to transport supplies such as oxygen bottles, gas canisters, tents, food, and ropes.

The hazardous climb across the Khumbu Icefall typically happens at night when temperatures are lowest and the ice is most stable. An unmodified drone can carry 15kg between camps in 12 minutes for a round trip, day or night. These delivery drones aim to ease the burden on Sherpas, who repeatedly risk their lives navigating the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.

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