Russia is the ninth most populated country in the world, but its land mass is so huge that it’s actually got one of the lowest population densities, at just 22 people per square mile. That’s because there are huge swaths of the country that feature climates that make them practically uninhabitable.
But even areas that are sparsely populated need access to certain public services, and that’s why a Russian company called Rudron/Expeditor 3M teamed up with Russia’s postal service on a plan to use drone technology to deliver mail to people in relatively inaccessible areas.
In 2016, the postal service made public its plans to employ the drones and earlier this week, a crowd assembled to witness the fruits of the partnership: the launch of a $20,000 postal drone programmed to carry a small package to the Buryatia republic in Eastern Siberia.
But things didn’t go exactly as planned…
According to Reuters, the drone – emblazoned with the Russian postal service logo – lifted off before a small crowd and flew for a few seconds before sinking and then crashing into a nearby building. There were no injuries, except for those to the drone, which smashed into several pieces… and maybe a little injured pride for the postal service, who immediately began to distance itself from the project, saying it attended the launch as an invited guest, but it was Rudron/Expeditor 3M who had arranged it.
Some speculated the wifi networks interfered with the drone’s flight patterns, but nobody is certain exactly what went wrong. The head of the Buryatia region said this is by no means the end of the project and that they will keep trying til they get it right.