The drone postman appeared in the mountainous area of Guiyang and needed to change batteries when flying to every village.

  Since the beginning of January this year, residents of Weicheng Town, Guiyang City, located in the mountainous area of Guizhou Province, have often seen a drone shuttle through the town. Under the belly of the plane, there was a box with the words "China Post". The local people later learned that this drone was used by the post office in the town to deliver mail to the surrounding mountain villages. Beijing Youth Daily reporter learned from the local post office on the 15th that this drone now flies twice a week, and it will be promoted if it works well in the future.

  Postman part-time drone operator

  On the morning of 15th, Wang Hua, a staff member of Weicheng Post Sub-bureau in Guiyang, took his drone to an open space near the town, and prepared to deliver newspapers and some mails to five villages around the town.

  Wang Hua is a postman. He used to ride a motorcycle to deliver mail to several surrounding villages three times a week. Because the mountain road is rugged, although the distance is not far, it takes a whole day to deliver it every time. Since the beginning of January this year, Wang Hua has added a new task, which is to operate drones to transport mail.

  "Our economy is not developed here. Many people have never seen drones, so many people gathered around to see them when they first started flying. Some old people asked us about the timetable for flying drones and came to see them several times." Wang Hua said.

  Wang Hua said that he is driving a drone, but in fact the main operation is not done by him. He is mainly responsible for loading mail on the drone and then checking the battery. The flight route has long been set by the company that developed the drone. All he has to do is scan the QR code on the plane with his mobile phone, and then click the start button on the mobile phone, and the plane can fly according to the pre-designed route.

  "It used to take a whole day to send the mail from these villages by motorcycle. Now the whole route is flown by drones, which is more than an hour." Wang Hua said.

  Flying to every village requires changing batteries.

  Director Chen Zhongxiang of Weicheng Post Sub-office told the reporter of Beiqing Daily that at present, there is only one drone in the town post office, and they selected five villages, namely Yingyan, Yinqiao, Maixiang, Xingguang and Lianhua Temple, as delivery pilots. Chen Zhongxiang said that these villages were chosen because they are relatively remote, and it takes too long and the road is dangerous to send mail into the village by manpower.

  Chen Zhongxiang said that the UAV they are using now has a diameter of more than 1 meter and six propellers. In theory, it can carry about 7 kilograms of goods. However, for safety reasons, the stipulated delivery weight is no more than 5 kilograms, and the flying distance between villages is about 10 minutes. Every time you fly to a village, you need people from the village to help replace the new battery, and then you can fly to the next village. The whole journey is a "relay" process.

  "The plane must be fully charged before it can take off. The last time we saw the power of the plane was 82%, we felt that we could complete a flight, but after the start, the plane still could not take off. This may be the design made by the aircraft research and development enterprise for the absolute safety of the aircraft." Chen Zhongxiang said.

  Temporarily unable to replace manual delivery.

  According to the staff of the UAV R&D company, when the plane lands, it needs to lay a red and blue positioning carpet at the landing site. The UAV is equipped with a sensor in the vertical direction. When it searches for the positioning carpet, it will land accurately. Location.

  Chen Zhongxiang told the reporter of Beiqing Daily that it was not the decision of the town post office to equip the town post office with drones, but the higher authorities chose the Weicheng post office as a pilot. If the use effect is good in the future, it will continue to be promoted.

  "Many people in the village felt particularly fresh when they saw the plane at first, and the people in charge of managing the plane in each village also had a WeChat group. When the plane took off and landed, everyone would inform each other."

  Annabelle of Xingguang Village Committee is one of the managers of this drone. Every time he receives the mail from his village, he also needs to replace the plane with a new battery. "If the battery is not fully charged, the plane can’t fly, but there will definitely be no forgetting to charge the battery. Everyone will remind each other when they have WeChat groups."

  Chen Zhongxiang said that in the past, the postman of the post office had to go into the mountain three times a week, but now it has been reduced to twice a week, while the drone now flies twice a week. If the effect is good in the future, it will increase the flight frequency. "But due to the limitation of load, drones can’t completely replace the postman now, and everywhere they go, they need people to get express delivery for batteries. There are still some troubles. It would be nice if these jobs can be replaced by machines in the future."

  Text/reporter Fu Wei