Rothar to rotor: Postman Padraig is Ireland’s first postal drone

9 Jul 2018

The drone that last week made An Post’s first ever autonomous drone parcel delivery. Image: An Post

Move over Amazon, Ireland’s postal service is already in the lead on drone deliveries.

A drone nicknamed ‘Postman Padraig’ is understood to have made An Post’s first ever autonomous drone parcel delivery.

Last Thursday (5 July) at around 3.30pm IST, the drone, understood to be a DJI Phantom, delivered a parcel from Roonagh Pier in Mayo to Clare Island.

While the package was a mere trinket for a customer in a lighthouse, it nevertheless signals a new era for postal delivery. It is understood that An Post is considering more plans to incorporate drones to complement its service in rural areas.

From drone to door

Postman Padraig’s journey from the pier to the lighthouse took approximately 11 minutes.

The drone delivery came after months of planning and the mission was dubbed ‘Rothar to Rotor’.

While it is just a test mission for now, An Post said it plans to see how the technology can benefit people who live in secluded areas.

Obviously, such drone flights will be influenced by weather conditions, as are boats and helicopters. An Post added that it will not replace the regular postal service any time soon.

The latest phase in An Post’s plans to smarten its services with breakthrough technologies comes on the heels of electric bikes with large containers that deliver from four locations in Dublin as well as electric vans to deliveries between the city’s canals.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years