In late January, the "LE 4-8X Dual" drone, developed by the French start-up Xamen Technologies, completed its first delivery in real conditions of use. This 13 lb (6 kg) drone, is the world’s first to be certified "ATEX" (EXplosive ATmospheres), having been designed to operate in potentially explosive environments such as oil rigs, chemical processing plants and oil refineries. As such, in January, it made a parcel delivery to a liquid gas tanker.
The flight was carried out near Kalundborg in Denmark, 70 miles (110 kilometres) west of Copenhagen. The drone took off from a barge, located 800 feet (250 metres) away from the ship, and despite the bad weather, delivered a package of cookies to the ship’s crew, in deference to a Danish tradition.
Xamen Technologies wanted to demonstrate the interest of such a machine, to the world’s largest shipping company, the Maersk Group, with more than 1,300 ships in its fleet, because upon every arrival in port, the crew of a tanker must provide documents to local customs authorities. An operation carried out so far by inflatable boats. The "LE 4-8X Dual" is capable of carrying a 41/2 lb (2 kg) payload, over 3 miles (5 kilometres).
The maritime carrier is now negotiating with the French start-up.