Glance around Switzerland: drone deliveries, more hens than people, cash-less shops and university castles

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The Local - [email protected]
Glance around Switzerland: drone deliveries, more hens than people, cash-less shops and university castles

Our round up of Swiss stories you might have missed includes drone deliveries, a Swiss castle being sold to an American university and plenty more.


As always, we have tried to give you an overview of the story and a link to follow up on if you want. 

Six times more chickens than people

Photo: THPstock / depositphotos

Switzerland’s smallest canton (in terms of population) is home to six times more egg-laying hens than it is to humans. Appenzell Innerrhoden has a human population of roughly 16,000 while there are some 101,000 chickens.

There are approximately 2.8 million egg-laying hens in Switzerland, with 60 percent of them living in free-range conditions. Berne has the most chickens and is home to 375,000 of the birds, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the country's entire population of egg-laying chickens.


The Federal Office for Agriculture has more on this.

A shop with no cash

Plans to open a cash-free shop at Wetzikon station in Zurich have been unveiled. Entry, purchase and payment will all be conducted through an app. Plans are still being finalised but it is hoped that the shop will remain open all day, every day. 

Staff will be present during peak times in the morning and evening in order to support customers and stack the shelves. More information on this story can be found in English in the official press release.

Hauteville Castle sold to US college 

Photo: Wikipedia/Hdvwiki Creative Commons

After having been on the market for years, the Hauteville castle in canton Vaud has been sold to Pepperdine University - a private American university that is "committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values" - for an undisclosed amount. The university says it plans to turn the castle, which is a Swiss heritage site of national significance, into one of its European campuses. 

More on this story can be found the Le Temps website.

A gift from above

Photo: Swiss Post

From Monday next week, Swiss Post will start using drones to deliver lab samples between the emergency laboratory in Hirslanden Klinik Im Park and the central laboratory in Zollikon and back.

The drones will travel a distance of nearly 6km, taking roughly seven minutes to do so. This is said to be at least five times faster than road transport. This efficiency will benefit patients, as doctors will be able to respond to test results much quicker than has previously been the case.

Last week The Local wrote about Swiss Post also using drones to deliver samples between University Hospital Zurich (USZ) and the Irchel Campus of the University of Zurich (UZH).

This project is expected to last a year. During that time, Swiss Post, drone manufacturer Matternet, USZ and UZH will look at the long-term viability of autonomous drones.

Watson has more on this story.



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