Volocopter is one of many companies working on building a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) “drone taxi” for urban mobility, but regulatory hurdles mean it’s likely to be some time before we see them in the skies above our cities.

Keen to explore other avenues of opportunity in the meantime, Germany-based Volocopter has adapted the design of its remarkable 18-rotor flying taxi to create a utility drone geared toward a range of applications.

Called the VoloDrone, the fully electric flying machine is similar in both looks and size to the Volocopter, except that it has no space for a pilot or passengers.

The VoloDrone can be operated remotely or programmed to fly autonomously, and can reach a cruising speed of 50 mph (80 kph).

With a maximum payload of 440 pounds (200 kg) and a range of 25 miles (40 km), the VoloDrone can be used to carry heavy loads across potentially long distances in a large box or a sling.

The machine could also be useful on construction sites, or for delivering spare parts and emergency supplies.

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