Drones delivering dairy? TINE testing drone use for lab milk samples

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

TINE has tested transporting milk samples to the laboratory by drone. Pic: TINE
TINE has tested transporting milk samples to the laboratory by drone. Pic: TINE

Related tags Tine Dairy Drone delivery

This winter, Norwegian dairy company TINE has tested drone transport of milk samples from Haltdalen near Røros to the laboratory at the dairy in Heimdal.

The company said in the future, even milk delivery to homes could possibly be done by drones.

Project manager and head of the technology lab at TINE, Eirik Åsheim, said the first test flight took place in December. He said, “Maybe we can fly the milk directly to your home at the cabin during the Christmas holidays. Or drones can fetch milk from the farmer when the roads are inaccessible. Or deliver goods more often to places that are not so easily accessible by car. TINE has ambitious sustainability goals and is committed to reducing emissions. We believe that drones can contribute to this.”

TINE is working with drone supplier Aviant, the state-owned airline Avinor, and Sintef.

Åsheim said it was natural to collaborate with Aviant, because they already work closely with St. Olav's hospital in Trondheim, where blood samples are flown in from Røros.

He said the rest of the project group has brought valuable experience in relation to what is required to fly milk samples with drones and what is required to fly drones in general.

Åsheim said milk samples must be kept between zero and four degrees during transportation, and not be exposed to too much shaking. He said TINE hopes to learn what it takes to start carrying larger items with drones in the future.

The airline Avinor is a partner, and believes TINE's project is helping to pave the way for the future.

“Avinor thinks it is exciting to be able to contribute to an innovation project like this. Such projects are important for us to be able to further develop unmanned aviation, our offers and services in line with the need that is now coming,”​ said participant in Avinor's drone program, Ellen Weidemann.

Related topics Manufacturers Fresh Milk