Post office to start drone tests in Lugano

The newest drone the Swiss Post will test for use in making deliveries.

The newest drone the Swiss Post will test for use in making deliveries. (post.ch)

Drones will be used this month to start delivering laboratory samples such as urine tests between two hospitals in canton Ticino as part of tests carried out by Swiss Post. The national post office hopes the service will be fully operational next year.

Swiss Post said in a statement on Tuesday that it plans to start a test phase from mid-March for the first commercial use of drones with the EOC hospital group in canton Ticino.

Delivery drones will carry lab samples between two EOC hospitals in Lugano – the Ospedale Italiano and the Ospedale Civico – which are located about 600 metres apart.

The aim is to use the autonomous drones to transport samples “more quickly and efficiently in the future”, Swiss Post said. It hopes drones could be in regular use between the two hospitals from 2018.

“The samples will be mostly liquids and urine samples used for testing,” explained Swiss Post spokesman Olivier Flüeler.

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